January 26, 2021

Cryptheory

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DarkMarket: Global authorities collectively shut down largest illegal marketplace

2 min read

TL;DR Breakdown:

  • DarkMarket was shut down in a joint effort with several authorities around the world.
  • Over $150 million cryptocurrencies were transacted on the platform.

A collaborative effort between several law enforcement authorities around the world has resulted in the shutdown of DarkMarket, which is supposedly the largest illegal marketplace globally. The platform allowed the buying and selling of illegal items, such as hard drugs, malware, stolen credit card information, including fake money. An alleged Austrian operator of the dark marketplace has also been arrested, according to the report by Europol on January 12.

Largest dark marketplace goes down

As reported, the operation involved Europol and other authorities in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Ukraine, Denmark, and Moldova. Through investigations, the authorities were able to learn and shutdown over 20 servers linked to DarkMarket, including its infrastructure. They were also able to arrest the alleged Australian operator of the world’s largest illegal marketplace some days ago through collective investigations.

Europol mentioned in the report that DarkMarket supported almost 500,000 users – supposedly making it the largest dark marketplace. More than 2,400 were confirmed as vendors on the marketplace, which reportedly facilitated at least 320,000 transactions. Bitcoin (4,650 BTC), and Monero (12,800 XMR), were the two most used digital currencies on the marketplace. These coins would be worth almost $160 million.

End of the road for DarkMarket users

The shutdown of DarkMarket can be seen as a significant move in curbing illegal transactions. Perhaps, more of this collaboration with the world’s enforcement authorities can effectively work against the operation of dark marketplaces. Meanwhile, the authorities said they would use the information collected from the servers to open more investigations concerning the operators, buyers, and selling on the now-defunct illegal marketplace.

Recently, Cryptopolitan reported that authorities in the US and Europe were able to confiscate about $2.6 million worth of digital currencies from a darknet. Under the operation dubbed ‘Operation DisrupTor,’ about 179 drug dealers were also arrested.





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