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Vortex Market Review

A vortex is loosely defined as a whirling mass that sucks everything near it towards it. The question is, will it suck in buyers and vendors? Well, so far it does appear to be doing just that. Having entered the darknet scene in late 2023 it's been able to grow in popularity quickly thanks to the high profile closures of Kingdom Market, Nemesis Market, Incognito Market and Cypher Market, as well as a few smaller markets such as Sonanza. Let's see whether this market has what it takes to suck you in too.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and research purposes only. Torhoo does not promote, condone or accept any liability for any illegal activity that may occur when using Vortex Market.


Vortex Market key information:
  • Vortex Market Link (Primary onion URL):
    uz5teca64yvzfax2o5eey3v6pkyo6kusajtgkalys7r74ij7pilqj4id.onion
  • Online since: October 2023
  • Cryptos accepted: Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR), Tether (USDT - Tron)
  • Multisig support? No
  • Walletless? No
  • Vendor bond: $200
  • Key features: Escrow, PGP 2-FA
  • Categories: Drugs, Counterfeit Items, Software, Botnets and Malware, Security and Hacking, Digital Products, Fraud


Getting started on Vortex Market:
The registration process for Vortex Market is nice and simple. Choose a username, password (must contain a lower case, upper case and special character, so a little more strict than many other markets), and finally a 6 digit withdrawal PIN. No personal details or email address required, so anonymity fully respected as you would expect from any darknet market.



Once your account has been created, you can then proceed to login. On your first login you will receive a mnemonic code which is the only way to recover your account should you ever lose the password. Ensure you copy and save the mnemonic in a secure way.

Next you'll find yourself on the landing page which contains a large selection of featured products and all the key features you'll want to navigate through the market, such as product categories, search and account settings. These are all contained in the header at the top. Overall it's a pleasant looking user interface and pretty intuitive.



Searching for products:
To start browsing products, either select from the categories and subcategories within at the top of the landing page, or use the search bar just above to enter in exact terms for what you're looking for. From the results page, there are a range of filters which can be applied such as by shipping from / to locations and price range, You can also search according to a specific vendor name. By default USD will be used for prices, but you can also select GBP or EUR from the account settings area.



Search results are displayed in a grid format which shows a brief product description, vendor name, fiat price, price in the three supported cryptocurrencies, shipping from location, a photo, and star rating, if the product has reviews.


Product information:
After clicking on a product listing you'll reach a detailed page which contains a photo, detailed description of the product, shipping options, price in all supported currencies (BTC, XMR and USDT_TRON) and any reviews left by previous buyers of this product. This is great for helping you make an informed choice before committing to a purchase.



By clicking a vendor's name (in blue), you can view how many transactions they have had, any disputes (including those won and lost), their entire product range, and all feedback they have received on the market. Whilst it does tell you whether or not they are currently online, we couldn't find any indication of when a vendor last logged in, which would be very useful to know to determine whether they are currently active. You can however see how long they have traded for on Vortex, and their sales numbers from other markets (such as Abacus, Archetyp and Incognito, to name just a few). You'll also find the vendor's PGP key here, which will be important if you wish to make a purchase from them, ensuring you can communicate securely.



Being able to see reviews posted for a specific vendor in one place on their vendor profile is very helpful as it helps give you an idea of the quality of products and service you can expect for them. You can clearly see the date each review was posted to help you gauge how recent it is.



Making a purchase:
If you wish to make a purchase on Vortex Market, you'll first need to deposit funds to your market wallet (see 'My Balance' under 'Settings' in the header). Unfortunately Vortex Market doesn't offer walletless pay at this time, rather favoring a classic wallet-based system.



As previously mentioned, Vortex Market supports 3 different cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR) and Tether (USDT - TRON). Whilst Bitcoin and Monero are common on darknet markets, this is the first market reviewed by Torhoo to support Tether. This is great if you wish to send an exact amount to your wallet without having to worry about cryptocurrency price fluctuations whilst waiting for your funds to deposit. The transaction fees are also typically lower than Bitcoin, whilst also being faster. Just make sure you only send Tether on the Tron blockchain, not Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, BNB or any of the other blockchains which support Tether. Popular wallets such as Exodus support Tether on Tron.

Before making a cryptocurrency deposit, it's always smart to double-check you're not on a phishing site (check your onion link against those listed on Torhoo.com). Once the funds are in your wallet, select the item you want from the product page and provide your shipping information. You are strongly advised to encrypt your information with the vendor's PGP key rather than relying on auto-encryption for added piece of mind. If you're not yet familar with PGP encryption, we have a detailed guide on how to use PGP.

Submitted and completed orders can be viewed in the 'Orders' area (the van icon in the header). When the vendor accepts, ships or cancels the order, it will be displayed here and you will receive a notication. Once your order has arrived, you can then mark it as received and leave feedback for the vendor.

All orders (with the exception of those with Finalize Early status) are subject to a 14 day escrow period which allows plenty of time for an order to arrive. However in the event of an issue, you can raise a dispute which will then be reviewed by a moderator. We always recommend messaging a vendor first before disputing any order however so that the vendor has an opportunity to resolve the situation themselves.


Vortex Market Rules & Policies:
The rules on Vortex Market are pretty simple and straight forward. Most drugs are allowed with the exception of fent. No weapons, CP, venoms or government data may be sold here.

Vendors can join the platform by paying a bond of $200, but there are waivers available for established vendors from other reputable markets, new and old. The market has charges a fixed 4% commission on all sales, which is average for a darknet market, although slightly lower than some which charge as much as 5%.


Conclusions on Vortex Market:
    Positives:
  • Interface is simple and intuitive
  • Support for BTC, XMR and USDT (Tron)
  • A wide selection of vendors available, which is growing regularly

  • Negatives:
  • No walletless / direct pay
  • Based on our experience, images took some time to load, especially on search results pages - Now loading much faster
Vortex Market overall delivers all the fundamentals you'd expect from a modern darknet market. There's some room for improvement in a few areas, but no doubt the developers will continue to work towards delivering an even better user experience over time. The inclusion of Tether is the standout feature since there's simply no competition amongst darknet markets for this. How widely this will be used by buyers remains to be seen, but kudos to the team for trying something different. No doubt many more users will be sucked into this vortex as time passes and other darknet markets choose to exit. That's assuming time can even exist within a vortex? Now there's something to ponder...