In a post on the darknet market discussion forum Dread, a former Dream Market staff member claimed the owner of the marketplace has been scamming vendors and partnering with the phishers who create Dream Market clones. The mod, friedthechicken, has worked for SpeedStepper, the market owner, for longer than many darknet market users can remember. He also claimed that he will be launching a new darknet marketplace in the near future.
Here is the announcement (onion link). Note that he formatted the message almost identically. I removed the PGP signature and bolded one portion. The original can be found on Dread at the linked announcement:
Hey there all,
We’ll keep this message short and simple.
Yes, we are banned on 30/05/2018 by the owner of Dream Market, SpeedStepper.
Although known reason is extremely wrong.
It’s not because of scamming but a conflict between us and him.
Here is how it goes :
After working with SpeedStepper for years and years for a humble salary, recently we realized he has become crooked, taking down vendor accounts and cashing them out without stating any reasons.
Taking down our abilities to check what other staff is doing (including him), banning and limiting scammer vendors.
He can do anything with your account and there is no way you can know it, he’s the biggest partner of all the phishers fishing on Dream.
We asked for a raise in our salary accordingly to these actions he’s been pulling but he has refused without second thinking. He’s cheap as fuck since OxyMonster is gone.
Changing team members almost every 10 days. Hiring new people and firing good workers.
At some point, we didn’t even know anybody who is working for Dream with us. We bet half of them are LE.
It’s a fucking CIRCUS.
Heavy working schedule + stress + paranoia + low salary (compared to ex AB co-workers of us) and seeing crooked owner cashing out everything for himself and blaming it on other mods = IT DOES NOT WORTH IT.
It’s everything we stand against.
We said fuck this and resign from all support services. A day after his alter ego couldn’t resisted to ban us and blame it all on us.
We believe either he’s got caught by LE and they’re pretending to be SpeedStepper or he’s about to pull an exit scam.
Sincerely we would like to warn every members of this community including vendors to stay away from Dream Market and use other alternative marketplaces to avoid losing funds either to LE or a scammer fuck.
Fuck ScamStepper, Dream is dead.
Here is the kicker that invalidates most of the above:
We’ll be launching the best marketplace TOR has ever seen soon enough,
Until then, stay safe.
Darknet researcher @Sh1ttyKids has long suspected that the Dream Market owner, SpeedStepper, has been working alongside the phishers who have been creating Dream Market clones. DeepDot, along with other researchers, have disagreed with @Sh1ttyKids’ theory.
@Sh1ttyKids is known for sniffing out darknet market phishing sites. Dream sites in particular. It is worth noting that the Dream mod has a “tip jar” bitcoin address on his profile. The mod has likely learned not to send money directly to his localbitcoins account, though.