In a nutshell, what is MonkeyWorld?
Simple. It is a darknet market for legal goods.
The idea for the site came when I tried to buy gold on the clear web but I did not want the government to know it. This was a real challenge. Nearly every site has google ad-sense or another tracker active, blocks tor or requires KYC (Know Your Customer).
Of course you could deactivate them (You will also speed up page load when doing so ;)) and get around KYC easy. That is a not user friendly hack. Additionally, do you want to buy things on a website which constantly tries to track you?
My answer to that is NO . This was the day MonkeyWorld was born.
I also got some requests for sex toys but have not found a vendor yet. This may be interesting for the envolving gay community of Dread…
A more detailed overview of MonkeyWorld, updates and developments can be found on our SubDread /d/MonkeyWorld.
You have strong feelings about KYC.
Of course! KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations are laws which force companies to verify the identity of their customer. This is a huge cut in the right of the privacy of a human being. A very popular example of a KYC is when opening a crypto exchange account. You have to identify yourself and somehow proof that you are the one that you state you are (=> upload DL, Passport, video chat…).
Mostly governments argue that it is an effective weapon against money laundering. That is simply wrong. People still launder money in great amounts unburdened by KYC.
The price is you resign your right of privacy and you are being treated as a potential criminal. Last but not least you have to trust the service operator that they will take care of your identity proofs properly.
There are legitimate reasons to avoid KYC let me give you an example:
Example when you buy gold. You do KYC and after some years politicians decide that private ownership of gold is illegal and you have to exchange it for a fiat currency. (Which already happened in the U.S.). So they can simply knock on your door and request you to exchange your gold against a fiat shit currency for a fixed rate.
What’s your area of knowledge that you bring here to the Darknet?
It’s mostly technical. I can build a resilient hidden services and protect them against potential threats as you can see on MonkeyWorld. Can develop services of large scale. I am interested in the new developments in Blockchain and therefore quite experienced with Smart Contracts / Crypto wallet integration and other crypto related tasks.
One of them are BTC => XMR atomic swaps (COMMIT), I think of offering such swaps even though I am quite sure it will become an economic fail because it is still not user friendly enough.
They will be (one of) the next game changers in the DN / Blockchain world I think.
So you’re a darknet nerd. Can you tell us a little bit about the technologies you work with?
The technology stack on the dark net is very different to what you would normally use as a modern web developer. A lot of new developments in the web are based on JS, which is of course not feasable (SPAs, PWA, REACT…) for the dark net.
So on the DN the usual way to go is a mix of PHP, Python Scripts, DB cluster, NGINX… I don’t want to go into detail too much here.
What are atomic swaps? What are they good for?
Atomic swaps are a way to exchange coins between two parties without having to trust each other. (In our case BTC and XMR). This basically happens through smart contracts.
They are good for not loosing your coins when trying to swap them. (Cryptographically secure).
I think if you are interested a good starting point is the GitHub of them (CLEARNET), just read their documentation, I don’t think I can explain it better then they do.:
When did you first join the Darknet?
The first time I visited the darknet is around 5 years ago now and I was fascinated by this spot. The decentralized organization, privacy/anonymity, respect, fact based reputation… basically everything our society lacks of can be found here.
Another reason why I am here for so long now are the people. There are some with really extraordinary technical abilities (mr_white, Paris, HubBunter, endfront just to name a few) which could earn tons of money in the legal world, but they chose to work for the hidden area of the web and risking their freedom and even their lives.
They do this to keep this community running.
Do you have a little anecdote about your journey out here?
One time I ordered some substances from an established vendor. I was active as a Dropshipper at that time. Since he had way better prices on his vendor shop I tried to order from there. For some time things went well but on some bigger orders he scammed me / did’nt ship the products and did’nt responded anymore. So I DDOSed him for two weeks then he agreed to pay me back plus pen testing fee ;).
On the one hand it saved me five figure amount of USD and my vendor reputation at that time, on the other hand it is really sad that the tor project is so underfunded to prevent those attacks (Implement POW) and therefore make smaller hiddenservices very vulnerable for such attacks. So donate to the TOR project!
Lesson learned: Always use escrow.
You were a dropshipper. That means you are very versatile, knowing the vending game. Why did you stop doing it?
I became bored and it was not fulfilling with the time. It was hard to automate because of the captchas and nearly no market offered a proper API to do this. So I was spending half my time doing customer communication and communicating with vendors. It was not the work I wanted to do in my life tbh. I have way more abilities and it became clear to me that being a dropshipper is a full time job. But I am a developer I want to create cool things which others enjoy to use.
Where do you think the Darknet is leading humanity?
With censorship, surveillance and cancel culture evolving, it will be the starting point of a lot of great things in many areas (politically, economically, in science…). Good ideas need a free space where they can grow. I think of a place where everybody can say anything without having to fear negative consequences. A place where people decide themselves what to think and what they see, not a corrupt government / big tech.
Hopefully my market and the community around will make the community stronger and give the average Joe the possibility to buy and sell goods anonymously.
My morals are simple and did not really change since kindergarten:
I try to not bring harm in any way to other people with the exception when the other did the first punch. This is the non-aggression principle.