Ever since the Silk Road platform was taken offline, the darknet marketplaces have become more popular than ever before. This is not entirely surprising, as there is a large market for illegal and contraband goods and services. Sellers and buyers from all over the world come together on these underground platforms to conduct their business.

Growing Darknet Drug Sales Are Worrisome

To be more precise, the number of drug sales on the darknet has more than tripled since Silk Road has been shut down. Taking down this ‘original” darknet platform was a great triumph for the US government. Then again, the way they obtained the evidence is rather shady, and one of their own investigators stole Bitcoin in the process.

A new study conducted by several university researchers goes to show more drugs is being sold on the darknet than ever before. Their findings add up to a total of US$21m worth of drugs every single month. That is quite a staggering number, to say the least, as they represent a significant chance compared to 2013.

Even the lowest recorded drug sales tally stands at US$12m. Compared to when Silk Road was shut down in 2013, that is more than double. This goes to show that darknet markets are far more successful now than ever before, despite the increased attention from government officials.

What is even more interesting is how this study was conducted primarily in Europe. Darknet marketplaces can be found all over the world, and serve a global clientele. Even though the drugs market seems to be booming in particular, it only represents a fraction of the whole business.

To put this into perspective, drug sales on the darknet – in Europe – account for US$21m. But the entire European darknet marketplace volume is over UD$2.3bn every month. It is apparent the drugs market may be lucrative, but there are many different opportunities to make a lot of money by less-than-legal means.

As one would come to expect, a lot of darknet marketplace drug sales are intended for redistribution. Criminals can purchase drugs in bulk over the Internet and pay with Bitcoin or more anonymous payment methods. Once they receive the goods, they can then resell it in their local market for a healthy profit.

Source: EMCDDa

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock

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