Dark Web and Cryptos – How did we get here?


According to reports, the total value of bitcoin transactions that took place on the dark web has grown tremendously in the last few years. This is something that needs to be addressed or at least for investors to know about.

Millions transacted and still growing

This is no complicated maths. In the first quarter of 2019, some US$240 million worth of bitcoin was transacted on the darknet. In the same duration in 2017, it was US$153 million. This means that bitcoin activity on the dark web increased US$87 million within 2 years. However, between the same quarters of 2019 and 2020, it increased by US$144 million. That is one alarming figure. This means that bitcoin activities have grown by more than 300% within 3 years. While BTC usage on the dark web is decreasing, it is in the rising popularity of other altcoins which is making it scarier than before.

Monero and the dark web

When it all started, Bitcoin was the most popular crypto used on the dark web, otherwise known as the Silk Road. But with the limelight shining more on BTC and with the rise of new cryptos coming into the game, many have since stopped using BTC and moved on to the others. One such crypto is Monero. The main reason behind this is because traders on the Silk Road want to use crypto which cannot be tracked. Since cryptocurrencies started becoming mainstream (although it is still a far way to get there), BTC has been taking center stage and that has prompted illegal traders to look elsewhere.

The Silk Road and what came after

Ross Ulbricht is the man behind the Silk Road and to some extent, BTC’s current price is where it is today and a lot of this is because of the dark web. Then, BTC was used to pay for illegal trades of drugs and firearms because traders did not want to be detected. The Silk Road eventually was closed down but BTC has continued to flourish and grow to what it is today. This means that crypto remains the main currency used in the dark web. That is in some of the current platforms like the White House Market.

The White House Market is deemed the most active marketplace on the dark web today and has reportedly stopped accepting BTC and only takes Monero. This is probably because Monero is designed to protect the privacy of its former owners. And with government regulators now taking over BTC, it just goes to show how much things have changed.

Agora setting the pace

One of the earliest markets that came out of the Dark Web was the Agora, a Tor network. It was operational between 2013 and 2015. For some strange reason, Operation Onymous (2014) did not cover Agora. The operation to seize several Darknet websites (including Silk Road) took place then which then saw Evolution became the largest darknet market. But an exit scam in 2015 by Evolution saw Agora becoming the next big thing. The movement will always be around and they jumped from one to another with Agora closing down later before AlphaBay became big.



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