Binance Buying CoinMarketCap: What Will the Future Look Like?

Ariel Ling, COO of ( Exchange, Shared Insights of Crypto Industry (Part III)

Ariel Ling, as the co-founder and COO of (, was invited to the interview by Fred Schebesta, the CEO of Crypto Finder ( Ariel has 18-year progressive executive experience in strategic planning, business development, budgeting and financial analysis risk management, regulatory program implementation, and process improvement for operational efficiency. She has an in-depth understanding of capital market products (stocks, fixed income, foreign exchange) in financial services and the development of international banking strategic trends (M&A, market structure, regulatory reforms and their impact). Her lustrous career on Wall Street made this interview a popular link on YouTube.
F: Okay. Let’s go back and talk about BitMax in terms of markets. What markets do you mainly trade with geographically? Because you have the sites in Korean, English and Chinese. Where is your focus from a market perspective?
A: When you have those three languages, it almost tells those must be my top three. The reason why we have an office in Beijing is to gear towards the Asian, Pacific Asian type of market. So most people think our users are Chinese. Actually, no. If you look at our user base from a community of fan respective, within 4 month after launch, we’ve got 35,000 members and the number is growing every single day. But out of 35,000 community users, actually, 1/3, even more than 1/3 are from English channels. For example, the English telegram is one of the biggest. We also have WeChat channel. So when you ask where the trading volume comes from, I would say 40–50 percent predominantly from Chinese speaking countries, which means China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and some of our equity investors are based there. And then when you’re looking at the development of the neighbor countries, Japan and Korea, especially Korea, are very active. So when I look at the second tranches, depending on which month, it’s either Korea or sometimes the South East countries that are very active too. And for Korean, it’s very interesting because I’ve done several conferences there too. Korean market is quite mature, the same thing with Japanese market. If you look at the adoption of Bitcoin, there’s a tight regulation, but people are used to trading. And they even have Bitcoin ATM in Japan.
F: When I was ordering the equivalent of Uber when I was in Korea, it was like Credit card, Cash, and Bitcoin.
A: Oh my god yes!
F: It’s awesome!
A: Exactly. I actually met couple of projects that are trying to optimize the payment channels, e-payment channels, or this kind of payment channel that includes crypto. So it’s interesting that they are very mature in terms of adoption acceptance. And also from the understanding of trading, Korea also has very large transaction mining exchanges. So when you go to Coinmarketcap, looking at the reported volume, you will see Bithumb is like №1 in ranking, because they have a pretty significant transaction mining as well. And in last couple of days, if you went to Coinmarketcap, you would see us,, moving up to №2, sometimes №3, 5, 10. That was when the Korean market was very vibrant and they are used to trading. So that’s number two market for us. And the next you will be surprised. We actually have very substantial group of users coming from Europe. Because last month, speaking of the volume, when I looked up at a daily report of trading analytics, where a lot of decisions are based on, I found we actually had five percent of total volume from UK, Russian and France last. And right now, we are listing a very significant project from India. And suddenly we see a lot of India users trading. So it is very diversified. It is not what people thought that only Chinese users are trading on the platform. It’s almost like 1/3 or 2/5 from Chinese speaking countries, then 1/3 from other part of the Asian, and then there’s the big chunk from Europe.
F: I guess that the Chinese government is relatively hostile to cryptocurrency or relatively. So what’s your approach as an exchange dealing with the Chinese market and particularly China itself and people in mainland China.
A: First of all, I have to say this is only speaking on a personal view. When it comes down to government, what I look at or what my team look at, it is not by one particular government. I don’t particularly think hostile is the right word. It really comes down just like US — when the government takes a look at a new financial asset, their view is always about what it is, and how I can regulate it, as simple as that. So, each government is at a different stage in terms of defining the requirement, understanding what it is, and defining how to regulate. So, I would think that certain countries are way ahead of certain countries, like Japan, let’s just look at it. They’ve already made the rules , everything you have to register. You want to be the exchange, you have to go for license. Everything has to go through all the checklist. There are very stringent requirement but there is requirement. So, for other countries such as China, US is the same where we are still waiting for either SEC or CFCT to issue the final guidance in terms of what this is and how they are going to regulate. So I think a lot of perception are really coming from a lack of clarity. At the end of day, any financial institution must work with the government, because it’s intricacy in terms of global economy and a country economy, especially from financial institutional perspective. For digital asset, I like to use the word digital asset versus cryptocurrency, because digital asset, whether its Bitcoin or ERC 20, should be really reviewed as asset class — how you define it? what is the boundary? And how does the government feel comfortable that 1) from an investor perspective, people hold it as asset to increase value; 2), from trading perspective, whether there is proper guidance or proper protection against any manipulation. This is what we all have to wait for each part of the government. And I do know for example, UK FCA, is also contemplating what is the regulation, what is the requirement. I think that they’re trying to come out soon. And Singapore has something similar. So every single country is at the different path to get to defining what it is.
F: And you see that coming from China as well?
A: Like I said, I don’t really have any detail. Like I said, I am just from an outside view knowing how long it took them to open their financial market. When I was working for American banks, it was also a journey to get the foreign bank established in the mainland China. That is the journey I think the government is working through in terms of what is critical for them.
F: Let’s talk about broader-based adoption in terms of the evolution of the crypto market. Obviously Wall Street has its view on crypto. What do you think would be the big steps for crypto to take to evolve to be more mainstream and institutional friendly.
A: I think I have answered part of your question. When you look at it as part of my business planning for this venture, for any business plan, you need to look at the current state. So for the current state of digital asset, the premise is that right now the digital asset as an industry is tiny. The entire trading volume for cryptocurrency is 20 to 30 billion a day. You know how much it trades in US equity cash market? It’s 400–600 billion. The difference is because of institutional investors exactly as you said. What prevents institutional investors coming to this industry? It’s fragmented. Everything is pretty much on its own. You’ve got exchanges taking on different roles. They are brokers; they are the wallet management; they are the custodian. They are doing everything. And there are very different shapes of exchanges. You’ve got blockchain people, and you’ve got the banks. It’s very fragmented. Nobody knows what is really the transparency. And all the institutional players, they are looking at what is the government’s view on this, what is my biggest risk to get into this. So a lot of them is really about transparency. But the word, crypto, is a bit more connotation from a not so positive perspective. Institutional investors, they don’t see transparency from a market structure perspective.
F: Right.
A: My team and I, we came from a very much Wall Street background. When you look at the Wall Street, they were not pretty in 1980s, like the Wolf of Wall Street. But over the last 20–30 years, with all the different regulations and market structures reforms, you will see it becomes very structured. So typically, there are three different roles. First, the broker dealer, which basically handles the client relationship: there’s retail, there’s financial institution, and there’s blockchain. And second, what does the exchange do? The exchange does really just trading, order matching and listing. And third, there’s another component in equity world, I mean, in every single country there’s clearing house. What the clearing house does is when you buy a stock, they verify for you. It’s the same; they are very independent. When you guy the bitcoin, there is an address. It’s transparent. But the clearing house is making sure that here’s your money, here’s your digital asset; you make the trade, you settle the trade. Clean and clear. And these three components are basically how every single security market operates in every single country. And then when you look at what is the ancillary support structure, you’ve got the KYC — to addresses all the AML risk — All the governments are also worried about AML, terrorist funding and stuff like that. So the second part is the custody. Who holds the asset? If the exchange holds the asset, how do you make sure they don’t have any fungibility moving around. So the custody component for regulatory market is very important.
F: I think a big news right now is Fidelity has come out and launched their own custodian service. They are a fairly large institution.
A: Exactly, they are the largest money managers in the world.
F: How do you think that will help clarify this custody piece? Do you think this is a good thing?
A: I think this is actually good development for the market when you look at the structure just like I pointed out. You have to have a custody for digital asset trading to prove the value of the asset in an independent and control location. Another huge custody institution in US as you know is State Street. They have to have proper books and records, a proper control mechanism to demonstrate. This is actually a very healthy development, meaning the market is getting matured. And each of their utility functions is actually having strong support from someone so successful as Fidelity. I think this is a very healthy development, because from regulatogovernment perspective, you need those utility check-and- balances making sure the market is transparent, the trading is fair; asset is protected, and investors are protected. That’s what it is about.
F: And TokenSoft as well has just launched a custody service for security tokens. It has a cold storage custody platform for security tokens, and I think this is part of your wallet management.
A: Yep.
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[Table] IAmA: I am David M. Ewalt, author of the new book OF DICE AND MEN: THE STORY OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. Ask me anything!

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Date: 2013-08-20
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
As someone who has never played dungeons and dragons, and with friends who are also interested in playing, where do I begin? There are a couple routes to getting started. My best advice is to join a group of experienced players first, for at least one game; you'll see how it's done and will get a chance to ask lots of questions. I've had good luck finding games online; look for local meetups or ask around on sites like Enworld or the various role-playing game subreddits. You might also go check out Wizard of the Coast's Encounters program, which sets up short games at local game and comic book stores.
If you can't find an existing game to get into, just buy yourself a Player's Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide. Both books explain how to get started if you're totally new to the game. You could also download the free playtest materials for D&D Next. They won't be quite as clearly written, but the new rules are simple and an excellent place to start.
Did you find out anything unexpected while writing your book? A lot. One thing sure to get the RPG partisans up in arms: TSR owner Lorraine Williams, the woman who booted Gary Gygax from the company, isn't the one-dimensional evil figure many gamers have made her out to be. I certainly don't agree with many of her decisions, but TSR did a lot of interesting work with her at the helm, and she had good intentions for the company.
What do you think about the move from D&D that was, a complicated nerd right of passage, to 4th edition (and even the play tests of 5th) which has considerably simplified the rules, but broadened the user base? Theoretically: I understand what WotC was trying to do when it moved to the simplified, video-game mechanics of 4.0, and while that wasn't a decision that served my tastes, I understand that a lot of new and younger players really responded to it. The transition to 5.0 is something different; while the rules are indeed simplified, the intention is to emphasize the "core" values of role-playing and adventuring, not to mimic a different kind of game altogether.
Pathfinder was the solution to 3.5 ending for our group.. It's like 3.75. Pathfinder is a great game; the only reason my group didn't migrate is that we didn't want to have to buy a new batch of books. If someone is new to role-playing games and has tried and like "3.5-style" play, I'd heartily recommend that they get into Pathfinder as opposed to hunt down the 3.5 books.
I'm curious how you feel about the stereotypes surrounding tabletop gamers (i.e. unwashed, socially inept virgins living in their parents' basments) and how or if that's changed over the years, especially as we're now seeing people teaching the games to their kids as well as celebrities and successful people who have gamed or who still game. Any comments or insights? I think like most stereotypes, they're mostly (but not entirely) nonsense. One of the reasons tabletop games have been so popular over the years is that the community is very welcoming to geeky people who feel outcast from other pastimes; that's a very good thing, but it's helped saddle the hobby with some of the negative stereotypes you're referencing.
Perceptions are changing quickly, though. One big factor has been the general explosion of gaming as a pastime; today nearly everyone from grandmas to toddlers plays some kind of video game, so tabletop gaming doesn't seem so alien and weird anymore. The emergence of celebrity gamers is a big help, too: When respected people like Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt and Aisha Tyler play games, it's hard to say that gamers are all sad, lonely neckbeards.
Got a favorite board game? Edit: Forgot to answer your board game question. Catan and Carcassone are favorites, naturally. I'm also very fond of Ticket to Ride, Dungeon!, and Puerto Rico. And I just played Shadows over Camelot at Gen Con, and really enjoyed it.
I've been playing tabletop rpg's off and on for nearly 30 years, and I love them, but even I would be a little hesitant to call D&D one of the most important games of our time. Would you care to elaborate on what makes it important, or expand on their cultural impact? D&D pioneered and popularized many game concepts and mechanics that are ubiquitous in modern tabletop and video games, from the basic idea of a character who persists and gains levels over time, to the idea of a dungeon crawl full of monsters and loot.
D&D gave birth to the modern video game industry; many of the earliest and most popular video games were essentially attempts to automate the D&D experience. And a huge percentage of today's most powerful and respected game designers say they got interested in making games because they played D&D as a kid.
D&D helped popularize the modern fantasy genre, and helped make fantasy films and tv a mainstream, marketable proposition.
D&D inspired a whole generation of writers, artists, and content creators. Just one example: Iron Man director John Favreau says he learned how to tell a story by playing D&D.
Hey, thanks for this reply. I guess I have a tendency to still see tabletop rpgs as a small phenomenon, mostly relegated to suburban basements, when it truly is branching out. The latter two points that you raise definitely have a lot of weight, and companies like WotC and Paizo have shown that RPG's can be valuable economic commodities. Any indie games that you like in particular? Have you checked out Monte Cook's Numenera game yet? Yes! I was a Numenera backer and it looks awesome. Monte's a brilliant designer and I can't wait to see what else he comes up with.
I have to upvote a Zork reference :) Happy Cake Day!
You enter a room lit with only a couple of torches, 24'x24', so it's fairly dark. There is a small dragon skull in the center of the far wall and a large treasure chest directly under it that looks like it's centuries older than the room itself. What do you do? Flatter the wizard and get him to cast a Light spell; convince the fighter that there might be something to kill hiding under the skull; tell the thief that the chest definitely isn't trapped and is probably full of gold. Hang out in the entryway until everything goes wrong, then collect any treasure once it's over.
Did or do you play any other RPG systems? I've played many different systems, including the two you mention. When I was in high school we played a lot of R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk, White Wolf's Vampire: The Masquerade, and FASA's Shadowrun.
The old West End Star Wars, RIfts, etc? At the moment, the two long-term campaigns I'm involved in are both D&D (3.5 and Next). But I like changing genres and trying new systems. Typically, I'll try other games at a convention or as a short one-off adventure with friends. When we like something we might return to it again later.
How did they compare in your experience? The latest discovery that we've tried several times and I recommend heartily: Dread.
How does one survive in the print journalism business? How to survive in print journalism? Be Malcolm Gladwell.
Seriously, though; there's only a handful of people that can survive as exclusively print journalists. Today you have to be a master of print, online, video and social media in order to survive. I think that's a good thing. Specialization is limiting: It doesn't give you an advantage in the medium of your choice, it shackles you in all the others.
Do you have a favourite d20 game/edition? The version I play the most with my friends (and the campaign I write about in Of Dice and Men is D&D 3.5. But we're also playing the D&D Next playtest, and I'm really enjoying those rules, so far.
Other systems I am especially fond of include Paranoia, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, Dread and Adventurer Conqueror King.
Shadowrun is the one game I've always wanted to play, but I've never met another tabletop player in meatspace who was interested. Go to a convention! There were a bunch of Shadowrun games (across multiple editions) at Gen Con last week.
Living in the middle of nowhere and not having money for travel makes that a no-go. There are conventions all over the country, not just at Gen Con; not all of them will have Shadowrun games, but even if they don't you can try to set one up; I bet you'll find other people there who also want to try it.
Edit: As Menacing mentioned below, here is a more complete list of the Podcasts and videos. Fun fact: On on of my reporting trips to Wizards of the Coast's headquarters, I spotted Mike's painting of Jim Darkmagic hanging right outside the CEO's office.
Was Gygax cursed? It seems like he was gifted with creating amazing things that lots of people enjoy but then someone else would take that thing and mess things up in one way or another in the pursuit of profit. Gary's a complicated figure. He unquestionably got screwed by the actions of other people, and was a victim of circumstance and fate. But he wasn't an innocent, either: He contributed to the financial mismanagement of TSR, and he threatened a lot of small game-makers the same way TSR later harassed him.
D&D is an example. Was the sale of the game to WOTC and all the financial and legal fighting around that as bad as it seemed? The sale of TSR to WotC and all the various legal and financial battles in the history of the game were indeed as ugly as you've heard. There's a reason why people are still so polarized and angry about those events, even decades later.
Hey Mr. Ewalt, thanks for stopping by. Peterson's book is great, and an impressive work of scholarship. I highly recommend it for passionate RPG fans, but it's not for everyone; it's 700 pages, very detailed, and goes to great depth on the history of role-playing games.
I recently read Playing At the World, which seems to cover similar territory. What distinguishes your book from that one? I'm going to need a defense to tell my girlfriend about why I have two big histories of D&D. My intention with Of Dice and Men was to reach a mainstream audience, to explain D&D to people who have never played the game, or to share the basic history to casual players who like the hobby but don't know much about it. I believe that even the most hardcore fans will learn something from the book, but that it's also something you could give to a family member or friend who has never even picked up a 20-sided die.
As someone who has never played D&D, why should I start playing? Role-playing games offer a really unique and powerful form of entertainment; they're more interactive than video games, more engrossing than TV or film, and more social than books.
Just wondering some reasons on why people play this game. Mostly, they're just tremendously fun. Who doesn't want to sit around a table with their friends and tell a cool story?
How did you manage to get publishers to pay you to write a book about playing RPGs? The Charm Monster spell is surprisingly effective against even high-level publishers.
Are you planning on accepting bitcoin? I'd love to. I'm in the process of setting up a store on the book's web site to sell signed copies and a few bits of merchandise. If anyone has recommendations of a simple ecommerce solution that allows bitcoin transactions, please share it here!
Thanks for doing this OP. Interesting topic. Were there any contemporaries to the original D&D or AD&D that you think had potential to take off? And what did D&D do that made it stay and grow rather than get replaced by a different game at that stage? (How did that compare to what it did transitioning from 3.5 to 4 to Next?) Game Designers' Workshop's Traveller was a pretty amazing game, and I remain a little surprised it never got bigger than it did.
When I was younger and not yet a tabletop gamer, I remember D&D being on par with modern video games in the media blame game. Yes, there's a whole chapter called "The Satanic Panic" that deals with the hysteria over D&D leading to devil worship and suicide.
Does your book discuss the controversy of D&D that started movies like "Mazes and Monsters" (Tom Hanks' first movie role) and the whole demon/false god worship media frenzy? One of the most interesting bits of reporting I did for this book involved reading every magazine and newspaper article that mentioned Dungeons & Dragons over the last forty years; some of the news reports from that period of hysteria in the 1980s are unbelievably sensationalistic and just plain stupid. Made me ashamed to even work in the same business as those people.
Hey there. D&D is interesting to me even though i've never really played. i recently saw one movie on the subject that i believe was called "Dungeon Master," and i've seen a couple of LARP movies. i'm pretty sure one was called "Darkon." do you have any more movies on the subject you would recommend? The currently-in-progress DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: A documentary is going to be amazing. You might also check out a comedy called The Gamers, or on TV, the D&D episodes of Community and Freaks & Geeks.
Have you read "The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing up Strange" by Mark Barrowcliffe? What did you think of it? I liked Mark's book a lot; it's reassuring to know that you weren't the only nerdy kid in the world, and that so many other people around the world shared the same experiences.
Another book in a similar vein worth reading is Ethan Gilsdorf's Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks.
Would you rather fight one horse-sized Chaotic Evil duck or 100 duck-sized Lawful Good horses? You can have a +1 sword. Considering how long I've been on Reddit, I can't believe I have never thought to make the players in the campaign I DM fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses. Our next session is going to be very interesting.
For the record: I'd choose one horse-sized duck. A hundred duck-sized horses just sounds exhausting.
What's the closest D&D has ever come to really going mainstream? Like, was it ever a possibility that we would see televised games? I always sort of wonder why poker on TV caught on and not other things. Check out Penny Arcade's Acquisitions, Inc live games. I can easily imagine a future where these sort of games appear on television.
What are your thoughts on (mostly) dice-less games like Fiasco that focus almost exclusively on storytelling? I have mentioned the game in a few other answers, but I'm completely enamored with the totally dice-less system used in the role-playing game Dread.
It's an indy RPG focusing on horror stories, and every time your character tries to take an action that might require rolling dice, you pull a single piece from a Jenga tower. It sounds silly, but it works perfectly for the horror genre; as you get further into the game and the plot starts to get scary, there's a physical manifestation of that tension right there on the table. It's beautifully executed.
I'm gonna steal a question from another interviewer's playbook. What's in your pockets right now? The book looks very interesting and I look forward to picking up a copy. Good luck with it and have a good day! A Fitbit activity tracker clipped around $48 dollars in cash (two twenties, a five, and three ones). My phone, a Galaxy Note II. And a Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen, which is one of my preferred writing implements.
dnd is a good place to start. Plenty of info on different editions of the game, and a lot of people willing to help you with any questions! Reddit's various role-playing subreddits are great... not just /DnD but also /rpg, /DungeonsAndDragons and /lfg, to name a few.
I'm not Dave, but I am featured in his book. I can tell you that Dave's book is the best history of D&D ever written, and probably the best book ever written because I, the most humble person in the world, am featured in it. Phillip is "Genubi" in the D&D campaign I write about in the book!
Last updated: 2013-08-24 16:47 UTC
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[Table] IAmA: I'm the CEO of an online underground black market, AMA

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2013-06-08
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Aren't you worried about bringing more attention to your site by doing something like an AMA rather then just relying on word of mouth? By doing something like this don't you run the risk of law enforcement agencies paying more attention to the fact that you exist? We want to bring attention to the site and bring our vendors more buyers. Law enforcement is going to be aware of us (and probably already is) regardless of the way we choose to put our product out there.
What made you decide to go into the business of running such a site? Just the money? Or other reasons? It was the appeal of providing a service that we believe in and a business decision. Prohibition is a backwards process.
We have taken technical measures to prevent and offset these risks if they arise. As for our identities being revealed, if a competitor is able to do it then law enforcement would be able to do it. That would be of a larger concern to us. We take many measures to protect our identity.
There are many legal items for sale as well, but the bulk of our items are drug related. We have no preference over what gets sold (assuming it does not break our restricted items rules).
We are indeed. We're looking for a web marketeSEO willing to be paid in Bitcoin.
Im curious as somewhat of amateur SEO marketer, how does one market a Tor Site? Surely it can't be done in regular ways such as adwords, keyword optimization, etc, etc. It is true that we can't use regular methods however we are after a person who can make YouTube how-to videos, create forum posts in various communities to increase the exposure to our site.
I've done some marketing and SEO, so just drop me a PM if you still need somebody. Thanks for your interest plerer, please PM us with your experience.
So how many inboxes have you gotten from people asking for jobs? If you aren't sick of them already, I'm interested in at least more information. I'll send a message should you reply to this. We've received about 20, but we're still looking.
Are you looking for resumes, cv's? how are you choosing a candidate? Based off previous work, and whatever data the applicant is comfortable providing.
What are your restricted items? And why don't you allow people to sell them? Restricted items include anything related to paedophilia, poisons, loans, investment opportunities, assassination services or anything which can inflict harm on another person. If you infringe on these rules we will terminate your account instantly.
Trading any digital currencies (for example Bitcoins, Litecoins, Ukash, Moneypak, Western Union, Moneygram, etc) is forbidden and will result in the items being removed and a warning or ban being issued to the vendor. This is to prevent scams.
The trading of counterfeit money is forbidden, and will result in a warning or ban being issued.
We also do not allow listings for 0.01 in the money section. Your items must have a full cost associated to them to prevent people processing transactions outside of the escrow system.
We allow the purchase of physical fiat for Bitcoins and/or Litecoins (has to be legitimate currency; not counterfeit). This is the only exception to the currency rule. We do not, however, allow the reverse of these transactions i.e. customers mailing vendors real currency as this is outside the escrow system.
As an example, if you were a vendor and you wanted to buy $1000 worth of Bitcoins/Litecoins you could do so by making a listing for $1000 labelled "Buying $1000 worth of Bitcoins/Litecoins", and then mail the real currency to the purchaser of your listing in exchange for their Bitcoins/Litecoins that are currently travelling through the escrow system.
Why are investment opportunities banned? Because they're commonly used as scam tactics.
What about fake Ids? Can you guys make/sell those? Our vendors sell a lot of those.
Why is counterfeit money banned? Part of the "harm to others" rule? It's frequently used in scams. When we allowed it, 100% of the counterfeit money sales were scams. It's also hurting local businesses etc.
Would you mind posting a link to the be-all, end-all, one stop tutorial installation page to safely and securely start using TOR, Bitcoin and Atlantis? 1) Download and install the Tor browser bundle - Link to 2) Download and install the Bitcoin client - Link to 3) You'll need to obtain some Bitcoins. The most popular exchange is MtGox ( They offer a few ways in which you can convert your local currency to Bitcoins. 4) Using the Tor browser, visit Atlantis (URL can be found at /Atlantis) 6) Click on the deposit BTC link under account settings and transfer your Bitcoins to that address. You'll need to wait for 1-2 hours before the transfer propagates across the network. 7) You can then shop for any items you would like whilst being confident on security and privacy.
Someone help me with step 3? Its just telling me I cant open the program. That step is optional, you don't HAVE to use PGP. Especially if you just plan on having a browse.
Just commenting to find this later. )
Can you send me some drugs? Edit: Not a cop. Our vendors can.
How do you rate yourself compared to the road? We've had no downtime.
Our site is much more responsive.
We have cheaper commission rates allowing sellers to make more profit on their sales and buyers to buy them for cheaper.
We have automated PGP encryption of messages for the members who refuse to send their messages using PGP. We have an advancement fan management system, allowing sellers to reach out to all of their customers.
We have a more 'modern' user interface.
We have buyer feedback (none of the other marketplaces have this functionality).
We have an anonymous feedback system that allows you to determine is feedback is fake, but at the same time does not reveal anything about your buying patterns.
We support Litecoin as well as Bitcoin (the first market to support multiple currencies).
We listen to our user feedback, we have a rapid development cycle and new features are constantly being improved upon and added.
I'd like to personally thank you guys for everything you do to make online drug purchasing a safer and better experience. +altcointip 1 ltc. That's very kind of you, thank you! :-)
We've had no downtime. What do you say to all of the rumors that you were funding the DDoS aimed at the Road when your site first came online to pull traffic? We released an official statement regarding those accusations, it can be found on our forum. In short: We had nothing to do with it. It was speculative rumor.
What are you doing to cut down on scams and discrimination against new buyers? If your rules are that vendors are not supposed to deal outside of escrow, what are you doing about those vendors who require it in their policies? > "Yes we have caught scammers, but we've banned them swiftly. We pushed out new changes earlier that helps reduce the number of scams, all feedback contains the amount of the purchase, preventing users from leaving fake feedback on $0.01 listings. It also contains an 'anonymous' user ID so sellers/buyers can confirm whether the user leaving feedback has left feedback before. This helps catch scammers leaving fake feedback. The ID is unique to the sellebuyer combination, so it cannot be traced across transactions to determine a buyers buying patterns."
Further to the above we've made it easy to report suspicious vendors, there's a button directly on their profile that will notify support.
In regard to the vendors that require it in their policies, they will be warned or banned if they request FE without meeting our FE requirements (a minimum of 30 5/5 transactions). This system has already saved countless people from scammers.
New buyers are encouraged to purchase small orders first to build their reputation and feedback and find vendors who are pleasant to deal with. I haven't seen a problem of buyer discrimination yet (apart from on scammer profiles saying 'you must FE because you have no feedback').
If I am not mistaken, the Black Market Reloaded also has buyer feedback. Not that I would know, as I never go to such sites... I'm not sure, but I've heard its a haven for scammers, and they have no escrow process.
How about weighting reviews based on the amount of funds transferred? E.g., a $10 transaction review is worth 10x the review of a $1 transaction. This is a good idea, however this would impact the freshness of the feedback if we sort it by the value.
Aren't you worried the authorities are tracking this ama? They probably are. We aren't worried.
Why did you decided to accept Litecoin first? Also do you think Litecoin price will go up because of your site? Also how long did it take to prepare and set everything up? We wanted to promote Litecoin because it has a few awesome improvements over Bitcoin, so we started with Litecoin. I think a lot of the value has come from Atlantis already, and more will come from Atlantis with our growth. It's taken a year to get the site where it is at the moment with a few developers working on it mostly full time.
I've checked out atlantis, purely out of curiosity. I don't do drugs at all, but it seems that the prices are higher than street prices. Why do people prefer to buy on Atlantis? Is it due to knowing they're getting good quality? It seems riskier than buying drugs on the street. Greater quality, ease of access, safer than dealing with unknowns on the streets. A lot of people don't have access to a friendly in-person dealer.
The prices vary, some are actually cheaper then what you can find on the street.
Some of the main reasons why people choose to purchase off Atlantis include;
1) Quality of the merchandise. Because of the sites feedback and reputation system, you can be certain that you will be receiving an unadulterated item.
2) Order in the comfort of your own home and have the parcel delivered to you (with tracking).
3) Thousands of items to choose from. Sometimes a local dealer will not have a product you are after.
4) Deal with currencies which can be used to purchase items without the reliance of fiat.
5) Encrypted correspondence, more secure then messaging/calling your local dealer.
So how is it possible to get delivery anonymously? i mean, at some point don't you have to give your name and address to the seller? And if they are ever busted and you are in their database as a customer; aren't you know...fucked? Thanks for the AMA by the way. Some purchasers use fake names to hide their identity, others don't. We have a strict rule where vendors must remove all information about their clients once the parcel has been shipped (e.g from their computer). Also, once the order has been shipped, the address is automatically purged from our database.
How do you enforce a rule like that? what's to stop a vendor from simply writing an address down on a sticky note? Unfortunately we can't enforce it, we can only advise them to do it. Our system also permanently deletes this information after first viewing.'re an online drug dealer? How is this legal or how are you skirting laws to keep yourself from prosecution? I don't know of any countries/territories where selling Heroin would be legal. We're not a dealer, we provide the platform for dealers to sell their products in a secure environment. The Tor network hides our service from government officials. You can have a look into "Tor hidden services" if you're interested.
How do you usually guarantee the safety of your "company' and the buyer? We use a Tor hidden service to hide our service from the prying eyes of government officials: Link to
Do you ever deliver in bulk? This allows our servers IP address and location to remain hidden.
Are there any suppliers that you deal where they are a legal company on the surface? Users must access our site using the Tor hidden browser, protecting their identity: Link to
What are your personal political views? What about certain topics like child pornography, necrophilia or any other cultural taboos that are usually at the expense of another unwilling person? We don't deliver anything, but our sellers commonly deliver in bulk. We facilitate the platform, the sellers are from the general public.
What are your top non-drug related products? See above.
Is your company white collarish or do you have people who work with you that use violence and intimidation? We do not allow listings such as child pornography and necrophilia. We do take a moral stance, there's a large difference between child pornography and drugs.
Is government bribery common with your company? Probably porn.
We don't use violence or intimidation, nor do we have any need to. We're an online platform. The idea is to move away from the violent streets.
No, that doesn't happen (or hasn't happened yet).
Oh I see so basically your site is like the middle man am I correct? Alright that does make a lot of my questions moot. That's correct.
Have you had any scares before? None.
How illegal is Atlantis? I mean, not for the vendors/buyers, but how illegal is it as the CEO of the website? (Basically, how much trouble would YOU get into, if shit hit the fan?) Google "farmers market bust" for an example.
What did those men do wrong, and do you think you've solved to that issue? A lot of silly mistakes and using very traceable means of trade.
A screenshot of a website doesn't really prove anything. Do you have any proof that you are the CEO of this company? I've added a link to the AMA on the footer of the website.
Without going into any personal details (obviously) what brought you to this biz? I.e. formal versus informal education... comp sci vs. Mba-type edu... or whatever ur able to say. Can't go into education specifics sorry.
Also, as someone who is intrigued and has made half-assed attempts to get a bit/litecoin account setup and given up after hitting various obstacles, am I right to assess your biggest barrier to growth are the hurdles customers need to jump through to make transactions? Or am I just a stupid brain? If you'd like any assistance getting set up let us know, we can point you in the right direction. The seeming complexity of cryptocurrency is definitely a barrier to growth. It's all relatively simple once you get your head around it though. Bitcoins/Litecoins are far easier to obtain in certain countries than others.
Do you keep lawyers on retainer? We have a few lawyers using our platform to offer legal advice for a fee.
Hi. I have never posted/commented on reddit before, after about 5 years of being a lurker. This is too cool an opportunity not to. It's progressed to a full time job for us at this point. There isn't a day we aren't working on Atlantis.
How many hours a week on average do you work? What do you do outside of work for fun? What kind of music do you listen to? I'd love to answer those questions but they're a bit revealing sorry.
What is the biggest security threat you have had? We did a lot of planning in relation to this and haven't had any security issues so far. Our biggest concern would be if a security flaw was discovered in the technology we rely on (e.g flaw in the onion routing protocol or the Bitcoin protocol).
I've heard these sites are much more common than people realize. How much traffic do you guys get? We're one of the largest markets, and the most refined. We get thousands of visitors and hundreds of orders are processed through Atlantis a day.
How come you can post this here and not be instantly arrested? Link to
Link to
What does one sell on a black market that falls under the "Home & Garden" section...? Ikea lamps...
And nutrient dense soil, growing equipment, CFL's, HPS lamps, etc.
Why do buy / sell these types of items on the black market rather than any major online retailer? Since we use cryptocurrencies its a good way for people to use them to buy other items. Think of it like eBay but with a twist.
Are you worried that your usage of Tor contributes to undermining its image as a legitimate utility for online anonymity, in the same way that Bittorrent is often immediately associated with piracy? We hope that our usage does not tarnish its perception of being a legitimate tool. The core of our operation is to give people access to a 'true free market' whilst still protecting our users and ourselves. However just like a knife - it can be used for good and for bad.
We can only hope that the media and government doesn't portray Tor as a tool used by 'terrorists and criminals'.
Have you caught any scammers yet? Yes we have caught scammers, but we've banned them swiftly. We pushed out new changes earlier that helps reduce the number of scams, all feedback contains the amount of the purchase, preventing users from leaving fake feedback on $0.01 listings. It also contains an 'anonymous' user ID so sellers/buyers can confirm whether the user leaving feedback has left feedback before. This helps catch scammers leaving fake feedback. The ID is unique to the sellebuyer combination, so it cannot be traced across transactions to determine a buyers buying patterns.
Whilst you have swiftly banned sellers, can't they just make a new account? With the nature of TOR you couldn't ban their IP could you? That is correct, we cannot ban them by IP (there is no distinction on the Tor network). They would need to pay a new vendor account fee every time they create a new vendor account.
What are you doing to cut down on scams and discrimination against new buyers? We have implemented a few metrics in the feedback system, these include;
1) Buyer and seller feedback, rated in quality (out of 5).
2) Total purchases made.
3) Account age.
4) Item price in feedback history.
5) User hash which allows people to identify if the buyer is unique or the same person leaving fake feedback whilst still keeping their username anonymous.
We are currently working on two new metrics, these include;
1) Was the parcel received.
2) The users historic purchase total.
Unfortunately new buyers will always be a risk for vendors however with parcel tracking and the escrow system, these risks can be mitigated.
What's the best selling item? The most popular item is Cannabis.
What non-legal things other than drugs are done through your site specifically what's the most common things non-drug? Popular non-legal items other then typical illicit drugs include money handling services, identity services (generating passports) and cybercrime (malware).
The most common popular legal items include books, digital goods, legal money services and erotica.
So the site says I can get a FREE half gram of hash... do they actually send you that? Yes, vendors commonly offer free incentives to gather good reputation at the beginning of their seller career.
How did you get your first customers ? How did you advertise the site like this in the first place and create the initial market base? We posted an announcement in two cryptocurrency community forums and the news spread quite quickly.
We also offered incentives for vendors at other market places to sign up and take advantage of trading with no commission fees.
Where does your revenue come from, if you have no commission fees? Is it purely from cost associated with becoming a vendor? When we were running the 3 month commission free special, our income solely came from the vendor registration fee.
Our current commission structure can be seen below;
Value less than or equal to $50 6% Value less than or equal to $150 5.5% Value less than or equal to $300 5% Value less than or equal to $500 2% Value less than or equal to $1000 1.5% Value greater than $1000 1%
Do you have a retirement plan? Like quit and let someone else take over in a year? Everyone does gets busted in the end. Hell even anonymous. Usually via neverending greed or pride. We don't plan on retiring anytime soon, we've only just begun :)
How much do you make ?(give us a range ?) Is the money vs risk worth it ? Unfortunately we can't give you specifics on how much we earn however all of our profits have been used to enhance our platform. We take more pride in forming a true free market place rather than the dollars earned.
That's actually pretty cool, thanks. Oh also what made you want to get into this buisness? We love cryptocurrency, libertarianism, technology and saw an opportunity to make a free market place when SR was experiencing frequent down time.
Are you a regular customer at Atlantis yourself and what do/did you buy? We do everything on Atlantis except for buying products on it ;)
What is the craziest item you have ever sold? The top two items would be used sex toys/underwear (female vendor) and fig tree cuttings.
Fig tree cuttings? Can't someone just buy that on Ebay? O.o The ones from Atlantis are prettier.
How pure is the coke? It depends on the vendor. They advertise the purity on their product, the majority of it seems to be in the 85% range.
Why would the purity matter, and wouldn't someone prefer 100% pure over something that was cut with other items? Purity matters because you require less of the drug to get the same effect. Other than that it's mostly irrelevant. Yes, you would prefer 100% purity. 85% purity is very high compared to most street cocaine. On average, street cocaine is around 50% purity.
What exactly is usually put in cocaine other than coke to dilute the purity? Benzocaine, Caffeine, Phenacetin and sugars are the most common impurities.
Doesn't "CEO" relate to corporate organizational stucture? Why is a black market operating as a legal company would? We're still an organization and an organization requires leadership.
What's up with al the cats??? Incognito mode.
How much does your physical location matter to run a business like yours? Would it be any easieharder if you were in say, Somalia or on a ship in the ocean in International waters? We have team members in various different countries. I would say physical location is relatively irrelevant. We can access our systems from anywhere, and our location and the server location is protected by the Tor hidden service network.
Is there anything that you will not sell on your website? Restricted items.
Restricted items include anything related to paedophilia, poisons, loans, investment opportunities, assassination services or anything which can inflict harm on another person. If you infringe on these rules we will terminate your account instantly.
Trading any digital currencies (for example Bitcoins, Litecoins, Ukash, Moneypak, Western Union, Moneygram, etc) is forbidden and will result in the items being removed and a warning or ban being issued to the vendor. This is to prevent scams. (See exceptions below for exceptions to this rule).
The trading of counterfeit money is forbidden, and will result in a warning or ban being issued.
We also do not allow listings for 0.01 in the money section. Your items must have a full cost associated to them to prevent people processing transactions outside of the escrow system.
We allow the purchase of physical fiat for Bitcoins and/or Litecoins (has to be legitimate currency; not counterfeit). This is the only exception to the currency rule. We do not, however, allow the reverse of these transactions i.e. customers mailing vendors real currency as this is outside the escrow system.
As an example, if you were a vendor and you wanted to buy $1000 worth of Bitcoins/Litecoins you could do so by making a listing for $1000 labelled "Buying $1000 worth of Bitcoins/Litecoins", and then mail the real currency to the purchaser of your listing in exchange for their Bitcoins/Litecoins that are currently travelling through the escrow system.
Regarding the IT infrastructure, Do you own the servers that host the website? How are the servers connected to the internet? Is it a corporate leased line or just some dodgy hacked cable modem :) Without going to depth, we use dedicated servers provided by a hosting company. All servers are equipped with a 100Mbit WAN link.
I'm probably misunderstanding Tor a bit here then, but how come the hosting company doesn't get into hot water and told to stop hosting Atlantis? Tor traffic looks similar to SSL and our hosting provider doesn't snoop on our servers :-)
Do you pay for that in bitcoins? Is the server encrypted such that someone with physical access couldn't discover its contents, should they choose to? We pay for the servers via anonymous methods and the disks are encrypted. However when running certain applications, the vulnerable point would be RAM.
I'm not sure if the second is possible whilst also offering an internet service, you must have unencrypted stuff in RAM? We also monitor the data center for unauthorized access.
. To me hosting seems to be the weakest link in your personal security (I'm sure users are fine with your encrypted messages). Have you considered distributed hosting on other darknets like freenet? For all the services we offer, we have redundant servers ready to fail over to.
I hope i'm not late to the party, but do you have any thoughts/reactions towards the current chatter regarding PRISM and the NSA? Maybe you can talk about some precautions you took or are taking as a result? Never too late. It's quite scary actually. Tor, SSL, PGP, OTR, all of these technologies are your friends.
Although I will say this is nothing new, the NSA has been doing this for years now. I guess it's finally caught up to them.
We haven't started taking any new precautions as a result, we were already using them.
Would you say that those tools are your friends even if you're not interested in anything too illegal? Props for your efforts though, must be interesting to run that kind of company :) Definitely, with PRISM making headlines this week its always good to protect your privacy.
What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? I believe it's 11 meters per second.
Had anyone ever been caught in sting operation? We haven't had any incidents reported to us yet (most vendors are very careful and security conscious) however we have read a case in the past where a vendor was caught on a different market place. The market place wasn't to blame, it was just that the vendor wasn't careful with his operation and thus got discovered.
Whats a "virtual credit card"? Prepaid virtual credit cards aren't issued by a bank, have no contract, usually have a set amount and can be used online.
Can't access your site (yet) but do you have vendors in Australia? We have a few Australian vendors, yes.
You're probably not still around, but is it even possible to order items on your site from Japan? I have not even looked at Atlantis or SR because I don't think it's even possible. To my knowledge yes. But don't quote me on that. I think I remember seeing a few Japanese located vendors.
How does a typical black market starts up? For us, we love cryptocurrency, libertarianism, technology and saw an opportunity to make a free market place when SR was experiencing frequent down time.
When deciding for your brand or website name. What other names did you consider besides Atlantis? I like the name it has now just curious to know of the brainstorming behind the site. Also I love your website! Thank you! I can't actually remember any of the other names we considered, probably because they were all bad. Atlantis stuck from the beginning!
And you're welcome, thanks for using it.
Last updated: 2013-06-12 05:44 UTC
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