In a recent press release issued by Europol, we learned of the closure of yet another black market website on the darknet, involving over half a million users worldwide and where Monero (XMR) was used as a payment method.
DarkMarket: world's largest illegal dark web marketplace has been taken offline in an international operation involving 🇩🇪🇦🇺🇩🇰🇲🇩🇺🇦🇬🇧🇺🇸. #DarkMarket had 500 000 users, 2 400 sellers and 320 000 transactions. We supported the takedown with operational analysis and coordination. pic.twitter.com/6ALq59mIZi
— Europol (@Europol) January 12, 2021
Black markets can be used to buy and sell almost anything, including illegal things, and have been the number one vehicle for the use of crypto since the inception of Bitcoin, which has unfortunately led to crypto and the industry being branded as something only useful for criminal activities.
Recall for example the famous case of Silk Road whose founder Ross Ulbricht is still in prison.
In this case, the platform in question was stopped thanks to the intervention of the police of several countries such as Germany, Australia, Denmark, Ukraine, England and even the United States, and the cooperation of several agencies such as the NCA, DEA, FBI and IRS.
Monero and Bitcoin on the darknet market
Thus, thanks to the investigations led by the German police, a series of servers were discovered where a treasure trove of information was found, which made it possible to recover various information on the movement of the cryptocurrencies involved.
The operation monitored more than 500 thousand users, more than 2400 sellers, more than 320 thousand transactions of which 4650 were in Bitcoin (BTC) and 12800 in Monero (XMR): about 5% of all transactions were made with other payment methods, showing that the use of these crypto assets is not at the top of the list for criminals.
All sorts of illegal services and goods were sold on the black market, such as hard drugs, weapons, credit cards, counterfeit currencies and even SIM cards.
This is certainly a blow for the black market, although it is not enough to counteract the phenomenon, as several portals on the darknet surface with each closure, precisely because the turnover is monstrous, especially with regard to drugs.