Revenues in the Darknet market hit a new record level in 2020, despite declining individual purchases from marketplaces. Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis also saw a particular impetus behind last year’s new record.
Hydra Market is the main driver behind 2020 sales figures
According to the Chainalysis 2021 Crypto Crime Reportdarknet markets brought in a total of $ 1.7 billion in cryptocurrencies in 2020. But the report revealed that Hydra Market, one of the largest illegal markets in the darknet, has significantly increased overall revenues.
In fact, Chainalysis indicates that without Hydra’s numbers, revenues in the darknet market should have been “more or less equal” between 2019 and 2020. In particular, Hydra Market is a unique darknet marketplace as it only serves Russian. speaking countries.
The study found that Hydra could be considered the largest darknet market in the world, accounting for more than 75% of revenues in 2020. According to the analyst firm, such a market is a major driver of Eastern Europe’s unique cryptocurrency landscape. .
That’s why the region has one of the highest rates of crypto transaction volumes related to illegal activity, Chainalysis says. Authorities have increased concerns about the “uniquely advanced operations” that Hydra Market operates, such as offering anonymous couriers to deliver parcels.
Geographical overview of the research
According to a crypto forensic analysis done by Chainalysis, Europe (West, North and South) and North America are the largest consumers in the darknet market.
Most cryptos are laundered by the criminals through over-the-counter (OTC) exchanges in China or Eastern Europe, the study said. They also added:
The United States, Russia, Ukraine, and China dominate in terms of value, both sent to and received from darknet markets. Venezuela and Vietnam also score high on both sides, with their activity slightly more skewed towards buying in the darknet market, which could be related to the prominent drug manufacturing activity in both countries.
Chainalysis also shared some findings about China and Russia’s darknet transaction volume:
We also suspect that much of the volume of China and Russia received by darknet markets represents funds flowing to money laundering services concentrated in those countries, although it is possible that similar services may operate in other countries that have large amounts of money. receive money from darknet markets.
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