As the previous year 2020 came to an end, experts could find that DNM, short for Darknet Markets, were setting up new records. The Russian DNM Hydra topped the list led by White House and others. According to reports published on 25th May, it has been shown that Hydra has sustained a growth rate of 624 percent over the course of three consecutive years. The research also revealed that around 75 percent of illegal DNM transactions take place in this Russian marketplace. On the other hand, the privacy coin Monero has witnessed a sharply increasing vendor acceptance rate among DNM users. Monero has been able to seize 84 percent of vendor acceptance across the top three DNM Marketplaces.
While the market of cryptocurrency has been going through a slightly lower value phase, it has facilitated the darknet marketplaces quite a lot. They are now being used more actively. Analytics point out that while the global economy was hit pretty badly due to Covid-19 and when countries globally were trying to battle the pandemic and the economic recession it brought about, the darknet marketplaces were actually thriving.
According to the latest reports, White House and Russia based Hydra are the two largest darknet marketplaces out of the ones that are operational right now. Other notable marketplaces that are fully operational in the latter half of 2021 are Cannahome, Dark0de Reborn Market, Vice City,Torrez Market, Aurora, the Majestic Garden and the Cannazon.
Chainalysis and Flashpoint threat intelligence, two prominent names in the world of Blockchain analytics, conducted a detailed study on the rise of Hydra and how it gained such prominence among the darknet users. They found out that the administrators in Hydra impose extremely strict guidelines for sellers who access the marketplace for conducting their business. But even though there are ample strict measures, the popularity and demand for Hydra as a darknet marketplace continues to grow. Moreover all withdrawals done by the vendors are channeled through exchange services and operators in Russia only.
According to the reports, Hydra has grown phenomenally since it started out in 2016. Back then their transaction volume measured around $9.40 million which has grown exponentially since then as it stood at a whopping $1.37 billion at the end of 2020.
Vendor Acceptance of Monero Keeps Rising
1000x Group is a Blockchain analytics provider and according to a recent report, there are around 27 darknet marketplaces which are very much operational at this point of time. There are a division of markets that only deal in Bitcoin, whereas some deal in a combination of Bitcoin and monero (XMR) and a couple deal only in XMR. Markets such as Hydra, Aurora, Neptune, Mega, Global Dreams and a few others deal only in Bitcoins. Whitehouse Market and Archtype are the only two darknet marketplaces using monero only.
Whitehouse is almost as big and popular a darknet marketplace as Hydra. As a result they also maintain strict rules and regulations and one such rule or policy is the acceptance of monero only. White House Marketplace is run on 2FA, through using PGP encryption. The site is frequently attacked by DDOS and hence it shuts down for a while. White House has a listing of more than a thousand vendors and in 2021, they have also claimed to host over a million users. The marketplace became popular as another DNM called the Dream Market collapsed. Today they have over 50,000 products listed on their website. A commission of 4 percent is charged on every transaction carried out on the portal.
Statistical analytics reveal that Monero is becoming increasingly popular with vendors as it is commonly accepted on three of the most active darknet marketplaces on the internet. There is no doubt that Bitcoin still commands a dominating stance when compared to other cryptocurrencies but monero has been sharply rising on its acceptance. Data reveals that its acceptance rate was more than 50 percent in the month of May this year.
The American President Joe Biden stated that he had a discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin where he urged him to take necessary measures against the threat of ransomwares that possibly are originating from the Russian soil. This happened after the Colonial Pipeline attack and the breach in Kaseya. Although ransomwares are a totally different thing, Leonid Bershidsky, who is a contributor in Bloomberg, mentioned that there is a slight possibility that DNMs like Hydra may have a quasi-official sanction from the Russian State, and he believes that the Russian President may not be too keen to act upon it anytime soon.