Grams (search)

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Grams search logo.png
Type of site
Darknet market search engine
Available inEnglish
URLgrams7enufi7jmdl.onion (defunct)
Current statusClosed in 2017

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


In June 2014, Grams released Helix and Helix Light, a market payment service with an integrated bitcoin tumbler.[16][17][18] The site was 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]

Due to the enduring popularity of the site, and relative ease of replicating the first few digits of a .onion address,[21] a number of illegitimate copies of the original Gram hidden service have been created.[20] These include a scam version of flow, the search engine, and even copies of the drug marketplaces indexed.[22][20] Several competing scams have replicated the "grams7e" portion of the address and are listed on links aggregators as if they are the now defunct original site.[23][19] Like the Helix scam, these sites defraud unsuspecting visitors of any money or personal details entered on the fake site or fake marketplaces it linked to.[20][19]


On February 6, 2020, the FBI and IRS arrested an Ohio man, Larry Dean Harmon, who they alleged was the operator of Helix and Grams.[24] Helix was said to have been partnered with AlphaBay, an illegal darknet market shut down in mid-2017. Harmon pled guilty in August 2021 and agreed to forfeit 4400 bitcoins as part of a plea deal, and faces up to 20 years imprisonment.[25] As of November 2021, Harmon's sentencing has been deferred indefinitely while he works under a cooperation plea agreement.[26]


  1. ^ "Grams marketplace listing". DeepDotWeb. Archived from the original on 2017-09-11. 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. Archived from the original on 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  7. ^ Buxton, Julia; Bingham, Tim. "The Rise and Challenge of Dark Net Drug Markets" (PDF). Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  8. ^ ""Gramwords" Launched: Google Adwords Of The DeepWeb!". DeepDotWeb. 1 June 2014. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Grams: Becoming Hub For DarkNet Info & Ads (Part 1)". DeepDotWeb. 31 May 2014. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Grams Flow: Easy access to Hidden Sites". DeepDotWeb. 7 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Grams Grows with TorAds: First Advertising Network For Tor". DeepDotWeb. 18 November 2014. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Happy Birthday To Grams!". 9 April 2015. Archived from the original on 11 June 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. Archived from the original on 16 November 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  15. ^ "So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish". 9 December 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-12-15.
  16. ^ a b "Introducing Grams Helix: Bitcoins Cleaner". DeepDotWeb. 22 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Helix Updates: Integrated Markets Can Now Helix Your BTC". DeepDotWeb. August 5, 2014. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. 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. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b c d 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.
  21. ^ Dingledine, Roger (Oct 31, 2014). "[tor-talk] Facebook brute forcing hidden services". Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  22. ^ An example of an scam site is "" Copy on
  23. ^ Both "grams7ebnju7gwjl" and "grams7enqfy4nieo" are examples of onion hostnames copying the first digits of the original site.
  24. ^ Heisig, Eric (Feb 12, 2020). "Bath Township man ran service that laundered $311 million in bitcoin for darknet transactions, feds say".
  25. ^ Sun, Mengqi (18 August 2021). "Operator of Helix Bitcoin 'Mixer' Pleads Guilty". Wall Street Journal.
  26. ^[bare URL]