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Digital Citizens Action Alliance

Darknet Marketplace Watch - Monitoring Sales of Illegal Drugs on the Darknet

Illegal drug sales have moved out of the poorly lit alley and into an equally shadowy, dangerous place - the Darknet. Wired Magazine says the Darknet is a "second, parallel Internet. Right now it’s full of nasty (or, at the very least, illegal) activity like illicit drug or arms sales, or pedophile rings. The Darknet is populated by precisely who you’d expect to be skulking in the darkest corners of the online world. They have something to hide."

Digital Citizens Alliance investigators track the numbers of illegal and dangerous drugs found on the most popular Darknet Marketplaces. The first report, Busted, but Not Broken: The State of Silk Road and the Darknet Marketplaces, was published in April 2014. Below is the latest listings on the sites we looked at last April as well as a few others that have joined the list.

 


Updated on December 17, 2014.

Seized/Defunct Markets

Silk Road 2.0

BlueSky Marketplace

Pandora Marketplace

Tor Bazaar Alpha

The Pirate Market

Cloud 9

Hydra Marketplace

1776


Andromeda Market

Cannabis Road

Alpaca Marketplace

**Those in red were seized by authorities at the beginning of November**


New Markets

Nucleus Marketplace

Silkkitien(Dutch Market)

Panacea Flower Sanctuary

System D

Topina


  • The seizure of a number of Darknet markets at the beginning of November has had a significant impact on the darknet drug economy. More specifically:
    1. At the time of the seizure Digital Citizens was tracking 18 Darknet drug markets available here. By a week after the seizure only 7 of those 18 remained (Andromeda disappeared as part of a large scam and 1776 also scammed its users). Since then we have started tracking the 5 new sites listed above.
    2. Total listings for drugs and other illicit activities are currently 78% of the total listings found in our August research. Total Listings as of December 12, 2014 are at 51,755 compared to 65,595 on August 22, 2014.
    3. Drug Listings in specific are at 69% of the drug listings found in August. Drug listings as of December 12, 2014 are at 32,362 compared to 46,906 on August 22. 2014.
  • The seizure of Silk Road 2.0 and several other sizeable competitors has benefited one site in particular, Evolution Marketplace. While both Evolution and Agora Marketplace had overtaken Silk Road 2.0 at the time of its seizure, Evolution has seen explosive growth in the month since the seizures and is now by far the largest Darknet Marketplace. Evolution has a current market share of 45% of the drug listings and 52% of total listings. Evolution is by far the leader in fraud related activity with a large section devoted to credit card fraud and identity theft.
  • Agora Marketplace seemed primed to compete with Evolution for the Silk Road 2.0 refugees at the time of the seizure. Agora had both the size and a longer track record than Evolution. However, a major issue in their deposit and withdrawal system left many questioning whether Agora could be trusted. As an example, Digital Citizens did a check on Agora and Evolution on November 17, 2014. Since that time Agora has actually decreased in listing by 74 total listings. In that same time period Evolution has increased by 4,850.
  • Nucleus Marketplace is currently the third largest market at 1,511 total listings. While Nucleus is not an imminent threat, the site is worth keeping an eye on. It has only been in existence for less than four months, but has experienced serious growth in that time. On November 17, 2014 Nucleus had 146 total listings. Today it has more 1,200 listings for drugs alone and 1,511 total listings.