A report from the blockchain analytics firm, CipherTrace describes certain malfunctions in the secret sector of the darknet markets following a series of exit scams over the past few months.
Despite the opportunities for new markets to attract the attention of users of the now defunct platformsCipherTrace notes that not a single platform dominates the western volume. He estimates that the Russia-facing Hydra market is the largest in the world today.
It is estimated that Hydra had sales of over $ 1.2 billion between June 2019 and July 2020 despite serving exclusively in the Eastern European region.
While the Darknet markets have historically been dominated by a small number of large players, CipherTrace reports that the industry now appears to have a larger number of platforms dominating smaller user bases. The team is currently monitoring more than 35 active markets in the darknet.
The landscape has changed rapidly. Empire Market, A major darknet market that launched in February 2018 and had attracted over a million users by January of this year. It went offline in August and suddenly disappeared with around $ 30 million in users.
Many users of the platform quickly migrated to other markets. Icarus Market is one of the outstanding beneficiaries, but it also disappeared within three weeks of the Empire’s exit fraud. CipherTrace believes Icarus’ departure was unplanned and found the platform to be “had pushed hard updates shortly before logging out”:
“It is likely that the huge influx of new Empire users and their deposits has prepared Icarus for a profitable exit. As a result, administrators were able to take the opportunity and exit earlier than originally planned. “
CipherTrace noted that the market Deep sea has been offline for more than a week, In the absence of an announced police seizure, another carpet move is proposed.
The report found that White House Market and DarkMarket are currently the largest platforms in the western world. It is estimated that each platform has more than 300,000 users.
While CipherTrace believes the White House Market user base has grown by 50% following the recent exit scams, lThe “high demands on platform security tend to alienate the average user from the dark market.” and suggested that DarkMarket is preferred among less tech-savvy users.
The company also identified two new darknet markets that launched in September: Kalkmarkt and Invictus Market, It is believed to be operated by former DarkBay and Imperiya administrators.
Despite the whims created by the recent exit scams, CipherTrace notes that Invictus’ growth “slowed dramatically” after reaching its first 10,000 users. while Lime Market “seems like a very small market and is unlikely to be a very remarkable company.”