A lot of things will rush down through the minds of people at the mention of Dark web bitcoin because Darkweb seems like a very daunting word to hear, it seems like something only high-level computer scientist or skilled coders could handle. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and also a decentralized digital currency and was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Nakamoto.
The dark web is not necessarily a medium for illegal activities but offers extreme privacy and protection from the eyes of the government that comes as an advantage to makes it a fast-growing underground marketplace that refined criminals use in aiding their businesses. Therefore, it is used on the dark web as a form of anonymous payment, often for illicit goods and services requested or bought by illegal and criminal elements in the society.
There are many dark web wallets and dark web bitcoin mixers which can be used to make anonymous bitcoin transactions on sites like:
Silk Road has always been a digital black market known majorly for money laundering and illegal drug activities by the use of Bitcoin. Silk Road, regarded by many as the first internet dark market, was launched in 2011 and was shut down by the FBI in 2013. Silk Road was founded by Ross William Ulbricht who is currently serving life imprisonment for his involvement in Silk Road.
HOW SILK ROAD WORKED
The digital era has brought so many technological innovations in our lives, although it has its disadvantages. Due to the new changes, transactions can now be done online using virtual currency, even loans are now been given online using social lending sites. The list of digital technological inventions goes on and on and dives into every sector of the world economy. The increment in the cryptocurrency and e-commerce marketplace led to an increase in demand for data privacy, demand in privacy also led to an increase in regulations and laws over how data is used. While the initiation of data anonymization tools helps in protecting user’s personally identifiable information, these tools are also used by bodies who intend to conduct illegal and criminal activities.
In 2011, the Silk Road was born out of a need to connect illegal drug sellers with interested buyers online while cloaking their identities and transactions using anonymization techniques.
Through the combined system of data anonymization technology and feedback trading channel, Silk Road was able to create a haven for drug traders and traffickers. The website was only accessible through a network known as TOR, which according to Wikipedia happens to be free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication. Tor conceals user’s IP addresses so that they would be hidden from unwanted parties lurking around to disrupt illegal transactions. This is why Silk Road buyers and sellers strongly conducted a transaction without the fear of their IP addresses being traced. Another significant reason why Silk Road thrived was that all trades on the platform were conducted using Bitcoin.
The FBI was able to shut Silk Road down through the help of DEA, IRS, Customs agents and seized more than 144,000 Bitcoins (then valued at $122 million).
DARK-WEB SECRET WEAPON OF DESTRUCTION
The rate at which illegal transaction is been done through the use of Dark web is high and not to underrate the performance of law enforcement agencies all over the world because they are getting better at apprehending these dark markets but it all seems like the more they are been apprehended the more they recreate copycats websites.
A recent study by Gareth Owen from the University of Portsmouth, specifically in the December of 2014, found out that the most commonly hosted type of content on (TOR) was child pornography, followed by the black market.
Dark markets continue to operate, and law enforcement agencies continue to take them down in a continuous game of cat and mouse. Anyone considering engaging in illegal activities through these marketplaces should be aware of the risks.
Bitcoin services such as tumblers are often available on TOR, and some – such as Grams – offer Darkweb market integration. A research carried out with the United Nations Office on drugs and crime, highlighted new trends in the use of bitcoin tumblers for money laundering purposes. With Bitcoin People can hide their intention as well as their identity. A common approach was to use a digital currency exchanger service that converted Bitcoin into an online game currency (such as gold coins in the world of Warcraft) that will later be converted back into money. It has been shown that Blockchain and Cryptocurrency can be used to regulate the dark web.
DARK WEB MARKETS
The Commercial markets in the Darkweb, which are responsible for bulk of the transactions involving illegal drugs and other goods, attracted significant media coverage starting with the popularity of the Silk Road and Diablos market and its subsequent seizure by legal authorities. They all had the bitcoin wallet seized. Other markets sell software exploits and weapons. Examination of price differences in dark web market versus prices in real life or over the World Wide Web has been attempted as well as studies in the quality of goods received over the dark web. Such a study was performed on Evolution, one of the most popular crypto-market archives from January 2013 to March 2015. Although it found the digital information, such as concealment methods and shipping country, “seems accurate”, the study uncovered issues with the quality of illegal drugs sold Evolution, stating that, the illicit drug purity is found to be different from the information indicated on their respective listings. Almost nothing is know about what motivates people to access these marketplaces and factors associated with their use.
The best way to curb the illegalities that comes with Dark Web Bitcoin is that since cybercriminals need patronage to function if there are no more buyer to purchase their products then it means they will fold up automatically. Partakers in cyber-crime should look at the effect of their crimes and maybe the gravity will soften their heart against crime.