At the end of 2020, darknet markets (DNM) set new records as marketplaces like White House and the Russian-language DNM Hydra led the pack. A report published on May 25, shows Hydra saw a 624% year-over-year growth rate in three years, and researchers estimate roughly 75% of illicit DNM transactions stem from the Russian marketplace. Moreover, the privacy coin monero is seeing a lot more vendor acceptance on DNMs these days. On June 29, monero captured 84% of vendor acceptance on three of the top marketplaces.
The Complex Russian Darknet Market Hydra Eclipses 26 Marketplaces
While cryptocurrency markets are down in value, the use of darknet markets has continued to rise. DNMs have managed to stay lucrative throughout Covid-19 and stats indicated that while the world was locked down, DNM use was flourishing.
Many DNMs are operational today as reports and data show that the two largest darknet markets are Hydra and White House Market. Other notable DNMs in the second half of 2021, include Cannazon, Cannahome, Torrez Market, Dark0de Reborn Market, Vice City, Aurora, and the Majestic Garden.
At the end of May, blockchain forensics firms Chainalysis and Flashpoint threat intelligence published a report that does a deep dive into the rise to prominence of Hydra. The report called “Hydra: Where Cryptocurrency Roads All Lead to Russia and Go Dark,” explains how Hydra administrators impose strict rules for sellers using the DNM.
Despite Hydra’s strict rules, the report highlights that Hydra remains continuously profitable. Furthermore, vendor withdrawals are funneled through Russian exchanges and service operators, the report details. The Flashpoint and Chainalysis report adds:
Hydra market activity has skyrocketed since its inception, with annual transaction volumes growing from a total of $9.40 million in…