By the end of 2020, the dark web market (DNM) has set a new record because markets such as the White House and Russian DNM Hydra are leading the way. A report released on May 25 showed that Hydra achieved a year-on-year growth rate of 624% in three years. Researchers estimated that approximately 75% of illegal DNM transactions came from the Russian market. In addition, the privacy coin Monero is now recognized by more vendors on DNM. On June 29, Monero gained 84% of supplier acceptance in the three top markets.
The complex Russian darknet market Hydra erodes 26 markets
Although the value of the cryptocurrency market has declined, the use of the darknet market continues to increase. DNM managed to remain profitable throughout the Covid-19 period, and statistics show that although the world is in lockdown, the use of DNM is booming.
Many DNMs are in operation today because reports and data show that the two largest darknet markets are Hydra and the White House market. Other notable DNMs in the second half of 2021 include Cannazon, Cannahome, Torrez Market, Dark0de Reborn Market, Vice City, Aurora and Majestic Garden.
At the end of May, blockchain forensics companies Chainalysis and Flashpoint Threat Intelligence released a report that delved into the rise of Hydra. The report titled “Hydra: The Road to Cryptocurrency Leads to Russia and Goes Dark” explains how Hydra administrators impose strict rules on sellers who use DNM.
Although Hydra has strict regulations, the report emphasizes that Hydra remains profitable. In addition, the report details that withdrawals from suppliers are made through Russian exchanges and service operators. The flash point and chain analysis report added:
Hydra’s market activity has soared since its inception, with annual transaction volume increasing from USD 9.4 million in 2016 to over USD 1.37 billion by the end of 2020. Through blockchain analysis and observation, we see an astonishing 624% year-on-year growth rate of Hydra in its last three years from 2018 to 2020.
Dark web tracker data provided by blockchain analysis provider 1000x Group shows that there are currently about 27 DNMs in operation. Among them, 9 markets only accept BTC, 5 markets accept BTC and various coins, 11 markets accept BTC and Monero (XMR), and two markets only accept XMR. The Bitcoin market only includes Darkfox, Hydra, Vice City, Aurora, Majestic Garden, Neptune, Mega, Global Dreams and Flugsvamp 3.0. At the same time, the market dedicated to Monero only includes the White House market and the prototype market.
As one of the top markets like Hydra, the White House Market (WHM) also has strict rules, and Monero (XMR) is just one of them. WHM also requires 2FA, uses PGP, and the site has been frequently attacked by DDOS for many years. DNM has thousands of suppliers and claims to have more than 1 million users in 2021. WHM gained a large number of customers and suppliers after the Dream Market fell, and today more than 50,000 products are on the market. DNM White House Market also charges a 4% commission on all goods sold on Deepin Portal.
Statistics show that Monero (XMR) suppliers have significantly increased their acceptance of three specific fully operational DNMs. Although BTC still dominates DNM, XMR has gained considerable acceptance in these markets. DNM tracker data shows that in the last two weeks of May, the acceptance of XMR vendors exceeded 50%.
In the first two weeks of June, Monero fell under 50% control and hit a low of 37.60% on June 8. However, the acceptance of Monero suppliers climbed to 84% on June 29, and has since been higher than the 50% area. When Monero hit a low in mid-June, then Litecoin (LTC) suppliers The acceptance rate is higher. Supplier acceptance rate tracks supplier acceptance through Versus Market, Cannahome and Cannazon.
Is Hydra subject to semi-official sanctions by Russian leaders?
At the same time, since Hydra has become one of the largest DNMs in the world, after surpassing the old Russian DNM Ramp, Joe Biden’s government focused on Russia and these types of participants. Biden has been talking about Russia to the media, and he hopes Russia will combat ransomware and other cyber threats.
After the colonial pipeline attack and the Kasya incident, Biden told the media that he had a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. Biden said he told Putin that he must “take action” against these cyber actors.
“I made it very clear [Vladmir Putin] Biden emphasized this week that the United States wants ransomware operations to come from his territory, even if it is not state-sponsored, but if we provide them with enough information to take action, we want them to take action.
Ransomware is one thing now, but Bloomberg writer Leonid Bershidsky believes that Hydra may be subject to some kind of “semi-official sanctions” from Russian leaders. Bershidsky pointed out in a recent article that Russia’s “Hydra, its krysha or protection, is the elephant in the room.” The author explained that Putin really did not have any motives against DNM. He also believed that “the United States’ revenge The action is not compelling enough.” Bershidsky’s commentary concluded:
As far as the current situation is concerned, Putin can make people like Hydra worry about this prospect. If they are overwhelmed, others can take their place. Without flexibility, the dark web is nothing.
What do you think of the increasing use of the dark web market and the growth of Hydra? What do you think of the increasing acceptance of DNM by monero suppliers? Please tell us your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.
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