In this guide we’ll show you everything you need to know to get connected to Black Pyramid, one of the newest up-and-coming darknet markets.
Launched in early 2022, Black Pyramid is a darknet market that focuses heavily on providing support for its users (both buyer and sellers). Though it is still very new and has yet to attract many users, it comes across as more sincere and well thought-out than most other markets. It features a site design that appears to be built from the ground up and contains a plethora of instructional materials. This suggests it isn’t a fly-by-night market as clearly a lot of time was invested in its construction. Black Pyramid states the ethos behind its design to be the following:
“While recent market exit-scams demonstrated once again that 100% trust-less system are inexistant, we strive to give vendors and buyers a maximum choice of action to prevent any loss.”
We’re not entirely sure what this means or how it helps solve trust issues that come with market-controlled account balances, but it is an acknowledgement of the reality that even markets with Direct Pay or Multisig payment systems have been guilty of running off with user funds in the past. Black Pyramid makes use of a novel captcha system that involves picking out rotated hieroglyphs and has some interesting security measures that aren’t implemented elsewhere. It is also frequently slow to load, which forces user logouts, and having to log back in again time after time can grow tiresome.
Aside from accepting five different cryptos for payment (including 3 coins with privacy features), one of the things we really like about Black Pyramid is the fact that they really go out of their way to provide users with everything they need to know to use their market. This includes extensive how-to manuals in their Help section and a thorough background on the market’s features in the Support section. They also seem to be committed to providing a fair system for vendors by allowing those who advance with enough sales and positive feedbacks to become automatically eligible for FE. Of course, the market hasn’t been open for long enough to let many new vendors get enough sales to rank up to this point.
Sometimes the market has problems with its UI and the design makes it hard to see available listings. This is compounded by slow loading times and frequent timeouts. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to get around these issues other than by being patient. The market is set to Night Mode by default, which is nice, but there is nothing really intuitive when it comes to browsing the market. Nevertheless, Black Pyramid has all the infrastructure in place to get the job done and is poised for future growth as a darknet market, after they resolve some of these basic problems that tend to come with any new market.
Basic Facts about Black Pyramid
- Black Pyramid Market link: qo5i6olq6hay524jx2smexobmcyzicaqlroka3eeqeksrofveb36a4qd.onion
- Year founded: 2022
- Cryptocurrencies accepted: Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Total Product/Service listings: 400
- Listing Categories: Cannabis & Hash, Benzos, Dissociatives, Ecstasy/stimulants, Opioids/Prescription, Psychedelics, Carding/Fraud, Guides & Tutorials, Counterfeit, Digital Products, Hacking Tools, Services, Security, Other
- Multi-signature escrow? No
- Finalize Early? Yes
- Cost of vendor bond: $200 – $650
Before Getting Started
Before attempting to use Black Pyramid or any darknet marketplace, there are a few technical concepts of which you should have at least an intermediate level of understanding. They include the following:
- Cryptocurrency transactions. You will need to know how to store, send and receive cryptocurrency, primarily Bitcoin (BTC) or Monero (XMR). We recommend using XMR for privacy reasons. Black Pyramid also supports Litecoin (LTC), which has recently adopted MimbleWimble-based privacy transactions and might also be worth exploring as an option.
- The Tor browser. You will of course need to install the Tor browser to access hidden services sites (those with the “.onion” suffix), of which Black Pyramid is one. Be sure to have the most recent version of Tor installed before connecting to the dark web.
- OpSec. Short for “Operations Security”, OpSec is the art of putting oneself in the shoes of an adversary for the purpose of identifying potentially weaknesses when maintaining privacy on the internet. For example, you would never want to use login credentials that could tie you to your real-life identity and should never send coins to a darknet market wallet directly from an exchange.
Also, bear in mind that Black Pyramid sports a wealth of educational materials in their Support section, with full-on tutorials on everything from OpSec tips to PGP to placing an order. They also even provide information about how to use certain coin wallets and offer advice on how to handle more esoteric issues, like what to do if a package is intercepted by law enforcement. It is not common for a darknet market to offer this much background information to its users, but since its there, we recommend taking advantage of it and giving it at least a glance-over.
Disclaimer: This guide is for research purposes only and should not be construed as advice; legal or otherwise. The authors of this guide do not condone activities that are illegal in your jurisdiction or others. Use the contents of this guide and/or Black Pyramid at your own risk.
Creating an Account
To create an account on Black Pyramid, you will first have to solve an initial captcha to reach the main login page. Once you have arrived, press the words “Sign Up” next to the Login button to get started. Creating an account is fairly simple and requires only the following fields:
- PIN (4-6 numbers)
- Password (entered twice)
Be sure to choose a unique username that is not associated with your real life or other online identities, and a complex password consisting of a random string of uppercase/lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Also be sure to check the box that says “I confirm I have specified a strong password for my account.”
If you are satisfied with your username, PIN and password, press “Open Account” to continue. You will then be brought to a time-sensitive captcha page which involves clicking on a missing hieroglyph image that has been rotated. Note you only have 10 seconds to complete the captcha. Because the market website is frequently slow to load, you may experience one or two timeouts before you are successful in account creation.
If you are successful, you will see a message that says “Account successfully created. Feel free to login.” Now you can enter your username and password from the login screen. After logging in for the first time, you will be presented with a 10-word mnemonic. Copy and paste this series of words somewhere safe and secure, along with your username and password. You will need it to recover your account if you should somehow get locked out of it. After doing this, press the continue button. You are now free to start browsing the market.
Setting a PGP Key
Before placing an order, you will want to attach a PGP public key to your account. This will allow you to receive encrypted communications from other users, including vendors. To do this, first click on your username, displayed under the search bar toward the top middle of the screen. Next, scroll down past the Profile Text box (we recommend you leave this blank for privacy purposes) to the PGP Key box. This is where you will paste your PGP public key, which will look something like this when properly entered:
Next, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click the “Apply Changes” button. The screen will refresh and if you pasted your PGP key correctly, you will see a message that reads “You profile information have been successfully updated” at the top. Your PGP key has now been attached and you can receive encrypted messages from other users.
Note that you can enable 2FA from the Security Settings area of your user profile. Just change the 2FA Login option to “Enable two-factor authentication on login” and press the “Apply Changes” button.
Making a Deposit
To make a deposit to your account wallet, click on the BTC balance toward the upper-right of the screen (beneath “My Orders”, currently reads “0.00 BTC”). You will need to enter your password in order to make a deposit, so enter your password in the text box on the screen.
Press the “Next” button below to proceed. Note that Black Pyramid accepts five different cryptocurrencies for deposit, which include Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Not every vendor will accept every currency, so make sure to find out what currencies are accepted by the vendor from whom you’d like to place an order before making a deposit. To generate a deposit address, click on the button that corresponds to the coin you want to deposit.
For this example, we will be generating a Monero deposit address. Pressing that button will reveal a button beneath which reads “Click to display”. You must double-click this button to reveal the address, which will look something like this (sometimes it takes a minute or two for the address to generate, so don’t worry if it does not immediately appear):
This is the address to which you will send coins to fund your account. Note that addresses are good for one deposit only, and you must generate a new address after each deposit. Deposits will be credited to your account after three confirmations on their respective blockchain. As Black Pyramid is a relatively new and unestablished market, we recommend only depositing enough funds to cover one order at a time. This will help prevent losses should the market unexpectedly go offline.
You’ll notice that the market also features a coin converter and mixer. These are useful features that can do a lot to protect your OpSec as it makes it much harder to link market payments to your real-life identity. They are costly, though, with fees ranging from 3% to 12%, depending on what coin you are exchanging or mixing.
Browsing Black Pyramid
Black Pyramid features a unique site design that is different from all other markets and thus not as intuitive as some. Displayed by default at the top of the main market page are ‘Wall of Fame’ vendors and their most popular products. Beneath this are ‘Premium Listings’ which can be displayed by ‘Sticky Listings’ (likely paid listings), ‘Highest Ratings’, and ‘Best Sales’. Browsing through these can kind of give you an idea of what are the most popular products being ordered from the market, but what you’re likely looking for are listings categories, which can be found by clicking a tab labeled “products” to the left of your username. When expanded, categories are displayed as such:
The market features a comprehensive list of categories, which are more than enough to adequately house the rather meager selection of listings that can be found at this time (currently about 400 in all). Listings categories on Black Pyramid include the following:
- Cannabis & Hash
- Guides & Tutorials
- Digital Products
- Hacking Tools
Clicking on a category will reveal its list of subcategories, which makes it extra easy to narrow down listings for browsing. By far, the most popular subcategory on Black Pyramid is “dried flowers”, which refers to marijuana buds. Unfortunately, items aren’t very well tagged which means a lot of unrelated listings can show up in categories or subcategories they don’t belong. This will undoubtedly lead to more cluttering in the future, but at the moment its not a serious problem as the market is still small. Clicking on a subcategory will bring you to a page with its listings.
Here we can see listings & vendor names, a short description of the item, which coins are accepted by the vendor for payment, the item type (physical or digital), and payment method (Escrow or FE). You can also see the quantity of the item in stock and how many have been sold. Listings can be sorted by date added, vendor name, vendor score, price, and different areas of rating (including stealth, price, quality, and general rating).
After you’ve found an item you wish to purchase, click on the “Order” button to go to its listing page. There you can see several collapsible sections of text to give you an overview of the item, such as its refund policy, reviews, and shipping options provided by the vendor.
You can also see how many sales this vendor has had, their vendor level, where they are shipping from and to, how many disputes/reviews/sales they’ve had, and what coins they accept for payment. You can also see if the vendor is online or not (indicated by a green dot underneath the name for online and a red dot for offline), as well as how long they’ve been a vendor (70 days in the case of the vendor in the screenshot above).
Clicking on “Access the Store” will bring you to a page with all of this vendor’s listings. This is basically the vendor’s home page on the market which provides a wealth of information related to their offerings, policies, market activity, and reputation.
Here we can see a breakdown of the reviews left for this user’s products, their total score, number sales & feedbacks, shipping from/to information, as well as how quick they are to reply and even a timeline chart of their completed sales. It is definitely recommended to take a look through this information before placing an order with a vendor for the first time as it will provide a lot of valuable insight in what to expect when dealing with them.
Placing an Order
After you’ve found an item you wish to purchase, expand the Checkout text from the item’s page, select the quantity you wish to order, the shipping option desired, and which coin you want to use as payment.
Press “Next” to continue. You will then be brought to the Checkout Overview page which is where you will enter your shipping information encrypted with the seller’s PGP key. Black Pyramid has made this easy for buyers by presenting the vendor’s PGP key right above the Shipping Info text box. Copy this key, import it into your PGP utility, and encrypt your shipping information with it. Then paste the result in the Shipping Info area. It should look something like this when correctly entered:
Note that there are two different payment method options. You can pay with your balance or pay on checkout. Since we have not made a deposit to this market yet, we will choose the latter option. After choosing your payment method, click the “Checkout” button below to proceed. You will then be brought to a new screen with a crypto address to which you will send the specified amount of coins to be paid.
Note that you only have 10 minutes to make the payment before the order expires and you have to make it again. To ensure the payment is recorded within this time by the market, paste your payment’s transaction ID in the provided text box, then press the button that says “I have sent the XMR” (or whatever coin you are paying with). After pressing this button, you will be brought to the transaction confirmation screen which you can use to track the progress of your payment.
After the payment transaction has been confirmed by the coin’s network, the order will be marked as paid. The vendor will be informed of your order and will then start preparing it for delivery. Once the order has been mailed out by the vendor, its status will be marked as “shipped”. If you are dealing with a FE-enabled vendor, it is at this point which you will mark the order as “finalized” so that funds can be released to the vendor. Otherwise, don’t finalize the order until after you have received it and determined it to be to your liking. You can track orders using the “My Orders” tab in the menu area.
If you don’t receive your order by the end of the indicated time frame of delivery, or if is not to your satisfaction, you can open a dispute against the vendor which will trigger a mediation process. This can also be done under the “My Orders” tab. If you did receive your order and it is as expected, don’t forget to mark it as finalized so your funds can be released to the vendor, as this is considered to be proper darknet market etiquette.
Black Pyramid Market URL: qo5i6olq6hay524jx2smexobmcyzicaqlroka3eeqeksrofveb36a4qd.onion
Black Pyramid is a new and uniquely-designed darknet market that has a lot of good things going for it. The market’s creators/admins clearly put a lot of thought and time into its development, and it makes use of a lot of features that have come to be indicative of a good market in 2022. These include support for XMR (among other privacy coins), an on-market mixing service, the option to pay per order (rather than by account wallet only), and clear instructions on market procedure and policy. The only thing its really lacking for the moment are users, and its small selection of listings confirms this.
The market’s anti-DDOS “firewall” system can be a bit overbearing as it is time-sensitive which is a problem given that it is slow to load and respond to user input. Basically, time-sensitive captchas on the site must be solved in the first two seconds, otherwise the site does not have enough time to load, you will be logged out, and must begin the login process anew. While original, Black Pyramid’s site design is a bit clunky which renders it not necessarily easy to navigate. Regardless, it does exhibit signs of potential and is one of the better constructed markets we’ve seen launched this year.