Darkmarket

Darkmarket is a marketplace for the sale and purchase of illegal drugs. It also facilitates illegitimate activities. The transactions in Darkmarket happen through the Darknet. Bitcoin is the medium of exchange in Darkmarket. Bitcoin was always associated with the Darkmarket. But the owner of bitcoin is very difficult to trace.

The operation

German authorities seized the world’s largest Darkmarket place for drugs. Europol said that the operation was successful. This operation provided new dimensions to solve cybercrime. The operation was well co-ordinated by international agencies. The operation involved law enforcement agencies from multiple countries. The countries are Germany, Australia, Denmark, Moldava, the UK, and the United States. It got support from Europol as well. A cybercrime unit led the operation. A 34-year-old Australian citizen got arrested by the local law enforcement agency. The task force believes him to be the site’s mastermind. The main suspect declined to speak anything. He was under pre-trial detention. 3 Dutchmen, 3 Germans, and a Bulgarian provided the infrastructure for these activities. They got arrested in September 2019. They were on trial since October last year.

The department located and seized the site’s servers. He got arrested near the German-Danish border. The number of servers found in Moldava and Ukraine is 20. The expectation is that the data from the server will help to uncover more criminal networks. It will provide new leads to catch moderators, sellers, and buyers of the marketplace. Now, the focus is to understand the ways vendors are using new technologies. New technology like cryptocurrency got used for any illegal purposes.

The findings

The Darkmarket allowed its users to do a lot of illegal activities. It facilitated the sale and purchase of illegal drugs. It is a marketplace for counterfeit money, stolen credit, and debit card details. Computer malware, anonymous SIM cards also got sold here. It has 500,000 users and 2,400 active vendors. All the illicit items got sold and purchased through cryptocurrencies. So, it ranked up to 320,000 transactions. Payments made are through 4,650 bitcoins and 12,800 Monero. The estimated value is more than $170 million at present.

Bitcoin’s History

Bitcoin has a history of getting involved in illegal activities. Most of the transactions in the darknet happen through bitcoins. Illegal vendors on the Silk Road marketplace favored bitcoins. Silk Road was the largest darknet marketplace in the world for many years. It got shut down by the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in 2013. The FBI seized 144,000 bitcoins from Silk Road. It was worth $3.6 million at that time.

The hope in future

Cryptocurrency is a growing industry currently. Many reputed investors are putting their money in it. So, law enforcement agencies are also getting active in this industry. Many believe that the involvement of law enforcement agencies is a positive sign. This shows that law agencies should make strict regulations for this industry. It will help to reduce criminal activities and streamline the legal framework.

Sayan Mitra
Sayan Mitra

Sayan is a writer by choice or rather by instincts. He had started as a content writer for an infrastructure development website. Over the years, he has been involved in several versatile projects, ranging from blogging to creative writing, penning down web content to site reviews. Tourism, fashion, real estate, gambling, sports, politics, business proposals, presentation work, technical writing, generalized topics – Sayan has done it all, with his words.

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