The number of Bitcoin transactions by volume on darknet markets, exchanges and gambling services increased substantially in the fourth quarter of 2019. Those markets include the purchase and sales of illegal drugs. According to a new Crytpo Crime Report published this week, over $600 million worth of Bitcoin was spent on darknet markets. The Block’s Steven Zheng also researched cryptocurrencies’ use in darknet markets and found that bitcoin remains the most widely accepted cryptocurrency on these platforms, followed by monero and litecoin. Nearly 93% of the darknet markets Zheng examined accepted bitcoin for payment.
While bitcoin remains the most popular crypto for darknet activities. The “dark net,” is part of the greater “deep web,” a network of secret websites that exist on an encrypted networks.
The anonymity of the dark web attracts drug-dealers, hackers, and child pornography peddlers. Hitmen and other illegal operatives can also advertise their services on the dark net in ways they could not over traditional channels.
The dark net is occasionally used for noble reasons by Internet users who need to operate anonymously. Journalists seeking to interview citizens of repressive countries where communications are monitored might use the dark net. The dark net can facilitate whistleblowing and news leaks, act as a tool to allow individuals to circumvent censorship networks, and can be used as a means of protecting political dissidents from reprisal.