One of the biggest criticisms of the increase of cryptocurrency use is that it will facilitate crimes and one of the most commonly cited pieces of evidence of this is the use of cryptocurrency in the darknet. The darknet is a section of the Internet unattainable by traditional browsers which offers a great deal of privacy and is known to host marketplaces for all manner of illegal items and services. Over the years, the use of cryptocurrency, particularly privacy coins over the darknet, has seen a significant increase. This is because cryptocurrency is harder to trace in many cases than fiat currency which gives the criminals an easier payment method.
According to a new report by Chianalysis, the volume of cryptocurrency flowing into the darknet has doubled for the first time in four years. The report was released on January 28, 2020, and states that the total volume of global crypto transactions that go to the darknet has gone from 0.04 percent to 0.08 percent.
Darknet and Crypto
According to the reports, the total sales volume for crypto in the darkness topped $790 million in 2019 which followed a brief decline the year before. It also marks the first time the sales figures exceeded $600 million. This is indicative of the darknet markets being rather resilient despite increased scrutiny from regulators around the world. In the past, many of these major darknet markets have been shut down but it seems that as they get shut down, more spring up to satisfy the demand. The current number of active markets on the darknet has maintained its figure of 49.
According to the reports, some of the reasons for this resilience in the market is the fact that many of these darknet market places are becoming more and more decentralized. They are becoming more decentralize is in a bid to avoid government shutdowns and prevent detection. In fact, some of these market places are beginning to require the use of privacy coins for payments as they are virtually untraceable.