Russia has become the absolute leader in terms of the turnover of funds on the darknet. In 2020, the total turnover of cryptocurrency on the black market exceeded $ 288 million.
Russians actively use darknet services
According to research by the Chainalysis resource, Russia has become a leader in the use of darknet services. In 2020, the total volume of cryptocurrency payments in the dark segment of the Internet in Russia exceeded $ 169 million, and the total amount of funds received from the darknet markets was $ 119 million.
The total turnover of cryptocurrency in the darknet sector in Russia in 2020 exceeded $ 288 million. According to this indicator, the Russian Federation has overtaken even such disadvantaged countries as Venezuela, Vietnam and a number of other states.
The leaders in the use of the darknet also included the United States with a total annual turnover of $ 179 million and Ukraine with an indicator of $ 98 million. China took the fourth place in the anti-rating of countries with the most frequent use of black market services with an annual turnover of $ 87 million. Vietnam closes the top five. with an indicator of $ 56 million.
“The United States, Russia, Ukraine and China dominate in terms of the value of both funds sent and received from the darknet markets. Venezuela and Vietnam also rank high on both sides. Their activity is a little more biased towards purchases, which may be related to the production of drugs. We also suspect that much of the volume of China and Russia received by the darknet markets is related to money laundering in those countries, ”the Chainanalysis report says.
Most often, scammers send funds using cryptocurrency exchanges, P2P platforms, as well as various “cryptocurrency mixers” that mix transactions in one block and do not allow tracing the sender and recipient of the cryptocurrency.
Methods for sending cryptocurrency. Source: Chainalysis
To obtain cryptocurrency, users also use cryptocurrency exchanges and mixers. It is worth noting that in 2020, scammers began to use cryptocurrency mixers more often compared to other periods.
Methods for obtaining cryptocurrency. Source: Chainalysis
“We are also seeing a significant increase in the popularity of mixers: their share has more than doubled from about 5% in 2019 to about 13% in 2020. This reflects growing caution on the part of merchants and darknet administrators following the crackdown by law enforcement agencies, ”said analysts at Chainalysis.
Hydra remains the leader of the cryptocurrency darknet
If we talk about suppliers of services and goods on the darknet market, then for several years the leading position has been occupied by the Hydra marketplace, which specializes in serving Russian-speaking countries. It accounts for 75% of all revenue on the darknet.
Darknet landscape in 2020. Source: Chainalysis
Note that Hydra Marketplace controls 60% of the darknet drug market. In terms of cryptocurrency turnover, Hydra entered the top 10 sites in terms of cryptocurrency transactions in Eastern Europe and even some popular cryptocurrency exchanges such as Kraken, OKEx, Poloniex and others.
Hydra entered the top 10 cryptocurrency platforms in 2020
Chainanalysis analysts note that if we exclude Hydra, the revenue from the darknet market from 2019 to 2020 remained approximately unchanged.