Providing maintenance of a market on the dark web and managing its reputation are not easy tasks.
This is something the admin of Finnish-went-international market Silkkitie knows very well.
Thanks to Kapteeni’s guidance and innovations in caring for its users, Silkkitie has survived a number of FBI operations that targeted darknet markets, and has earned a veteran reputation on the dark web.
Since the market’s beginnings in 2013, it has undergone major rebranding—taking a new name, Valhalla, and expanding to a worldwide user base.
What was it like in the beginning? What has this rebranding brought to the already established Silkkitie, feature-wise? What are the plans for the future? Here are some of Kapteeni’s thoughts on these matters.
New Name, New Features
Due to effective restrictions of Finnish customs and the poor state of street markets in Finland, there was a need to form a darknet marketplace that can cunningly evade law enforcement agencies and secure safe shipments to Finnish clients.
This led to the founding of Silkkitie in 2013, as its admin states.
Two years after its kick off,the marketplace was given a more symbolic name, Valhalla, in 2015.
The reason for this rebranding is mainly because non-Finnish speakers were having difficulties pronouncing the name Silkkitie.
There were also negative associations related to already-closed markets.
Its new name refers to resilience in Nordic mythology.
In addition to this, the new market offers some innovative and unique features.
Innovations in the Internalization Process
Frustrated with greediness of other admins and exit scams, Kapteeni recognized Silkkitie’s shift from Finish to English as an efficient way to internationally claim its reputation based the trust it had gained among Finnish clients.
This shift inevitably came with a twist in accessing the market.
Similar to how Odin chooses Vikings to enter Valhalla, Silkkitie functions as invite-only market for two main reasons.
Due to expansive internalization of the market, it was essential to introduce growth control that can balance out the pace of the growth without turning Silkkitie into an out-of-control nightmare.
On the other hand, what was equally important for the admin was to come up with a marketing strategy that can promote the market beyond a local framework of painting graffiti and distributing stickers.
So he introduced a reward system for inviting users. As such, invite-only practice proved equally convenient for both the market and its clientele.
While humbly stating his responsibilities in establishing Silkkitie as one of the longest-running markets, the admin proudly notes which features distinguish Silkkitie from other markets—aside from its renowned, world class security that keeps users safe.
Its user-friendly and client-oriented interface results in numerous benefits, some of which are fast loading times and multisig payments, the ability to filter results by shipping country, and display prices in whichever currency a user chooses.
These are actually quite refreshing options to see on a darknet market. All of these features are undergoing improvement on a regular basis, as Silkkitie is constantly asking for feedback from users, which serves as a base for the market’s future development.
In addition to these little hacks, Silkkitie offers an option to auction products, similarly to Ebay.
This practice not only ensures that both ends will bargain a satisfying price, but the admin says it also brings a little bit of excitement to buyers while bidding for a desired product.
When asked about future plans for the darknet market, Kapteeni says it’s important to put users’ safety and security as the main priority.
This includes updating the market with innovative solutions that will hopefully contribute to its development.
Internally, Silkkitie pushes the market towards introducing new languages that will allow the service to interact with users’ native languages.
As the number of vendors and buyers in Norway increases, Norwegian will be introduced first. Hopes are also set for more effective support, so that clients will not have to wait for a response for longer than a day.
It is clear that Kapteeni aims to keep Silkkitie present, growing and up-to-date with the evolution of new technologies.
With recent media exposures and a change in user demographics, “there will be interesting times ahead” for Silkkitie, according to the admin.
If you are eager to witness Silkkitie reaching the new milestone, stay tuned.