Waking Up From a Dream

@Flamingo - Mar 2 2021

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A record-breaker in many respects, Dream Market is well-known for both its incredible longevity relative to its peers (surviving for six years before shutting down, a record only broken by the still-active Hydra Market) and for the turbulent state the Darknet was thrown into upon its departure.

Launched in late 2013 by the pseudonymous admin SpeedStepper, Dream mostly held its own amongst its rivals, carving out its own niche. In the wake of Operation Bayonet in 2017, however, was when it really came into its own, with refugees from AlphaBay and Hansa Markets flooding to it. Dream market then achieved a historic listing count of over 120,000, with approximately 20,000 more listings than Wallstreet Market, the second largest market of the time.

In August, 2017, a co-administrator/prescription-drugs vendor under the username OxyMonster was arrested at an Atlanta airport and revealed to be Gal Vallerius, a Frenchman in his mid-30s who was in the States for a beard-and-moustache contest. On his unencrypted laptop, law enforcement found $500k worth of Bitcoin, his PGP keys, and vendor data that proved his crimes. He was identified by the "tip jar" on his Dream profile wherein satisfied customers could donate their spare change to him, with the address leading straight to a LocalBitcoins account registered under his real-life identity, which corresponded with a suspect located via stylometry of social media and forum posts. Following Vallerius' arrest, many believed Dream to be compromised, although no official conclusion was met.

Dream also had many security issues resulting in the loss of user funds, from claimed "hard drive failures" to problems with XMR wallets, resulting in Monero functionality being removed from the site.

Dream officially shut down on the 30th of April, 2019, following a sustained DDoS attack. An onion link was publicized by the administrators, claimed to be the one they would use upon their relaunch when the DDoS problems were mitigated, but it never became active and is now widely believed to be a misdirection for the administrators to escape safely. It is unknown where SpeedStepper is now.

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