According to a new research study by Chainalysis, the darknet sector hit a new revenue milestone in 2021. It brings in a whole of $2.1 billion in digital currencies.
According to the research, around $300 million of the $2.1 billion aggregate generates from fraud shops. Moreover, these facilitate the selling of compromised logins, credit cards, malware kits, and other items.
Sometimes known as the darknet, the dark web is a secret network of websites that a specific web browser can only access. According to Kaspersky Lab, a Russian international cybersecurity and anti-virus supplier, the dark web makes online activity secret and confidential.
Numerous study reports suggest that a darknet is a tool for various unlawful and criminal activities such as drug trafficking and child trafficking. According to the article, the FBI and Interpol acquired four blockchain domains, including .bazar, .lib, .emc, and .coin. It is because of the escalating illicit activity on the darknet. Subsequently, in June 2021, a multinational investigation captured Slil PP’s network. Slil PP was one of the significant fraud shops obtaining username/password combinations.
According to Dileep Seinberg, Founder & CEO of Thinkchain, a cryptocurrency, NFT, and Blockchain consulting firm, the issue is a classic good vs. evil representation of technology. Despite this, cryptocurrency enabled highly protected networks. More recently, organizations such as Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology, or TRUST, safely collect and transfer client data in compliance with travel rules.
Early in October 2021, the Department of Justice released the results of Dark HunTor. This drug-trafficking investigation ended in the apprehension of 150 people and the shutdown of two drug markets.
Dark Web and Crypto Sector
According to the Chainalysis investigation, threats, along with other entry barriers such as locating a web host and maintaining vendors, have made starting and functioning in the darknet market too challenging for many would-be administrators, which is yet another reason for the fall.
As per the analysis, Hydra, is a marketplace that solely services Russian-speaking nations. It is the biggest darknet market now running using cryptocurrency. In terms of cryptocurrencies, Hydra constituted to about 80% of the global darknet market in terms of revenue in 2021.
Apart from Hydra, the five largest crypto markets last year were, in descending order of earnings were: UniCC, FEshop, Flugsvamp Market, Bypass Shop, and DarkMarket. Three of these five markets were fraud businesses (UniCC, FEshop, and Bypass shop), two were drug marketplaces (Flugsvamp Market and DarkMarket), and two were shut down by law authorities (UniCC and DarkMarket). Apart from Flugsvamp, all of these marketplaces service people from all over the world.
According to the research, most of these buyer-vendor relationships are likely formed on darknet platforms. However, following a string of profitable purchases, the buyers and suppliers resolved to deal off-market in the future. According to the report, direct buyer-to-vendor transactions hit $112 million this year. It accounts for around 5% of overall darknet market earnings.
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