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Grams was a search engine for Tor based darknet markets launched in April 2014,[5] and closed in December 2017.[6] The service allowed users to search multiple markets for products like drugs and guns from a simple search interface,[5] and also provided the capability for its users to hide their transactions through its bitcoin tumbler Helix.

The services used a custom API to scrape listings from several markets such as Alpha Bay and others, to return search listings.[5] The site is described by the Global Drug Policy Observatory to have "transformed how people search the hidden web".[7]

In May 2014 the site added Gramwords, a service similar to Google's AdWords search sponsorship system for vendors.[8] Additionally their profile system allows for cross-market vendor contact details and reviews to be held centrally.[9]

Later that year in June the creators released Grams Flow, a clearnet to Tor redirection service serving various dark net sites[10] and in November, a banner advertising network for Tor sites, TorAds[11][12] which has not yet had much success.[13]

'InfoDesk' allows central content and identity management for vendors, reducing the complexity of around maintaining presences on multiple markets.[14]

On December 9th, 2017 the Grams administrator left a PGP signed message on the Reddit subreddit /r/DarkNetMarkets stating that all Grams services, including the Helix tumbler, will be shut down on December 16th, 2017. [15]

Helix

In June 2014, Grams released Helix and Helix Light, a market payment service with an integrated bitcoin tumbler.[16][17][18] Before the coins are mixed they are also traded out for new ones. The site is also available on the clearnet via Grams Flow.[16]

In August 2017, it was noted that an elaborate darknet phishing scam appeared as the top Google search result for "how to mix bitcoins", directing users to a fake version of the Grams Helix Light website that would steal their bitcoins.[19][20]

References

  1. ^ "Grams marketplace listing". DeepDotWeb. Retrieved 2017-09-01. 
  2. ^ "Grams listing". DNStats. Retrieved 2017-09-01. 
  3. ^ Zetter, Kim (17 April 2014). "New 'Google' for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy". Wired. Archived from the original on 25 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Neal, Meghan (17 April 2014). "I Used the Dark Net's First Search Engine to Look for Drugs". Vice Motherboard. Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Zetter, Kim (17 April 2015). "New 'Google' for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  6. ^ C. Aliens. "The Darknet Search Engine 'Grams' is Shutting Down". DeepDotWeb. Retrieved 2018-01-23. 
  7. ^ Buxton, Julia; Bingham, Tim. "The Rise and Challenge of Dark Net Drug Markets" (PDF). swansea.ac.uk. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  8. ^ ""Gramwords" Launched: Google Adwords Of The DeepWeb!". DeepDotWeb. 1 June 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Grams: Becoming Hub For DarkNet Info & Ads (Part 1)". DeepDotWeb. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Grams Flow: Easy access to Hidden Sites". DeepDotWeb. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Grams Grows with TorAds: First Advertising Network For Tor". DeepDotWeb. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Happy Birthday To Grams!". 9 April 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Cox, Joseph (21 April 2015). "Banner Ads Don't Work on the Dark Web". Vice Motherboard. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "A Sneak Peek To Grams Search Engine "Stage 2: Infodesk"". DeepDotWeb. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish". 9 December 2017. Retrieved 9 December 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "Introducing Grams Helix: Bitcoins Cleaner". DeepDotWeb. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Helix Updates: Integrated Markets Can Now Helix Your BTC". DeepDotWeb. August 5, 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  18. ^ White, Mike. "Deep Web Bitcoin Mixer's Recent Hack Restarted The Debate Of Darkcoin Vs Trusted Mixers and Trusted Mixers Won". CoinBrief. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Pearson, Jordan (31 August 2017). "An Elaborate Darknet Phishing Scam Is the Top Google Result for Basic Bitcoin Tutorials". Vice Motherboard. Retrieved 31 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Jotham, Immanuel (31 August 2017). "Popular Darknet Markets tutorial on bitcoin mixing is a dubious phishing scam". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 1 September 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2017.