Outlaw is one of the few darknet marketplaces that predated Alphabay—almost difficult to imagine. However, other than a small number of devoted users, the market sees fewer new customers than Alphabay or Dream, the other darknet marketplace veterans. Why this is the case, only few know. However, the administration outlined plans that may not only revolutionize Outlaw but also attract both more vendors and customers.
The first change, and possibly the most important, is one beneath the surface. One of the most powerful decision-making elements, as evidenced by every other post on any number of darknet discussion boards, is financial safety. Consumers want to know their money will not vanish in an exit scam. They want to know if a vendor is trustworthy.
In most cases, ratings help determine every decision a consumer makes. This works for finding the best product but also for finding the most reliable or trustworthy vendor. In this era, the classic escrow system is flawed. Bad customers can easily scam perfectly good vendors. And for newer, less established vendors, escrow may not always be the most viable marketplace sales platform.
This is why “we now use what we call TLCE, Time Locked Currency Escrow,” an Outlaw admin wrote in an email. “This system is combined with our already existing Vendor Market-Exit Insurance (VMEI) and a new Satisfaction Guarantee (SG).” The admin continued to explain that, “instead of using manual actions and decisions, payments to the vendor now rely on a system using statistical data to ensure objectivity and honestly as much as possible.”
Now, when an order is placed:
- Customers send the payment to the Outlaw mixer.
- After the vendor marks the order as “shipped,” the payment moves to the TLCE.
- Outlaw checks the vendor’s scam risk through the VMEI and VMEI settings.
- Average delivery times are checked as well, with respect to distance or location.
- Along with a handful of similar variables, these “parameters” dictate fund release.
“After this period, the currency-value of the order is released to the vendor, independent on an arrival confirmation of the customer,” the admin clarified. “If a vendor gets a lot of orders on one day, the smallest order will be paid out first, followed 6 hours later by the second smallest order and so on. Thus, if a vendor has 10 orders in a day, his first payout will be after the calculated period and his last one 2.5 days later.”
And fitting the scenario described above, “new vendors will need to wait a relative long time till their payouts, whereas trusted vendors will receive their funds quicker.” The admin said that scammers will “never” make any profit with this system. The scammers will be banned before they receive their funds.
Outlaw, one of the few markets without a customer fee, also uses an optional service called a “Satisfaction Guarantee” wherein a customer can pay to ensure their satisfaction with the product. “If the customer is not satisfied, the OUTLAW team will act as moderators and see to it that the vendor solves the issue.” The administrator did not outline the fee itself, so we have no idea what kind of price to expect. Outlaw always acted reasonably and one can assume that such a service will also be reasonable.
In a way, the inverse of the SG is the VMEI, from the customer’s perspective. With the SG, the vendor guarantees that a customer will be satisfied with a product. But the VMEI is heavily influenced by the customer’s trust in a particular vendor. “Should the vendor suddenly exit, due whatever reason (busted, exit-scammed, dropped dead, …) the order will be refunded in the form of a voucher,” the admin told DeepDotWeb.
Lastly, on the cosmetic side of the coin, the admin explained that, in May, Outlaw would host a design rally. One of the greatest complaints about Outlaw is simply that the design takes some time to get used to. This design rally could make a major difference on the store’s cosmetics. They, meaning Outlaw administration, want designers to contact the administration, receive sample pages and data, and then return the content to Outlaw admins. The admins would thoroughly examine the code and then give Outlaw users an opportunity to vote on designs.
The first place designer will receive 3 Bitcoin. The second place designer will receive 1 Bitcoin. And the third place designer will get 0.5 Bitcoin. And all three will get a voucher for an Outlaw order.
April 26 Update:
As this article reached completion, the admin emailed with an update on marketplace development that focused on user safety and vendor trustworthiness via a new bond system. All vendors now have a minimum bond of 0.005 Bitcoin. Ten percent of the last 30 days is also allocated as a bond system. As of this moment, there is no cap on the system but he explained, in time, a cap would likely be implemented.
The admin closed with “We hope to motivate new vendors – while not losing the anti-scammer-effect of bonds.”