In recent years Darknet markets provided expedient sales channels to technologically knowledgeable customers. This approach appears to have considerable potential for growth in drugs sale,” a report claims.
The role of fintech, information technology, and social media have been identified as threats to law enforcement agencies’ ability to combat the trade of illegal drugs on the darknet. This has been made even more complicated by the fact that payments on the dark web have been shifted to cryptocurrency like Bitcoins. This Internet currency is beloved by computer scientists, libertarians, and criminals, and is considered invulnerable. As recently, it seems that anyone can buy or sell anything with Bitcoin and never be tracked, let alone busted if they broke the law. It’s totally anonymous.
According to South Korea’s Prime Minister, Bitcoin which is now the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, could be used by children to deal drugs. All youth would only need $10,000 to buy the currency. According to studies carried out in 2015 and 2017 and published in the report revealed that Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are the most prolific areas for the sale of drugs on the darknet, stimulants being the most popular of all. Germany accounted for $31.6 million in sales, the UK accounted for over $24 million and Netherlands over $21.2 million in total sales. All these sales traded online and in secret on the dark web using bitcoins as the currency.
Darknet markets have an average shelf life of eight months before they become inactive. However, despite the law enforcers’ ability to disrupt darknet markets, the report suggests,”the overall ecosystem appears to be fairly resilient with new markets quickly becoming established.” As a result, there have been a flurry of threats to regulate, ban, and control bitcoin. Some countries such as Ecuador have already banned it while others such as China have initiated strict restrictions. Therefore, with more condemnations of drug trades using the currency, it is possible that regulators will be further galvanized to lead an assault on bitcoin and dark web cryptocurrency trades.
Warning of the danger of young people getting involved in dark web and cryptocurrency speculation, Lee Nak-Yeon said: “these are cases in which young Koreans are jumping into for quick cash and virtual currencies are being used in illegal activities such as drug dealing or marketing for frauds. This can lead to serious social, economic and security catastrophe, if left unaddressed,” he added.
The PM may have missed some information on Bitcoin’s price in recent months, which is currently hitting record highs. On South Korea’s largest exchange Bithumb, the price went past the historic $11,000 mark Monday, though surprisingly it is yet to break the barrier in other parts of the world. This comes despite the South Korean government’s attempt to stifle the cryptocurrency. Nonetheless, cryptocurrency market capitalization continue to soar, dark webs continue to proliferate, and more people continue to adopt the currencies. In Ecuador, regulators have not been able to stop the currency’s growth, and in China dark web transactions are still in full swing. No telling how politicians will decide to handle the ensuing growth of the crypto darknet marketplaces.
However, bitcoin has also sought to shed this image, with many investors now taking the cryptocurrency very seriously. But if its privacy shortcomings drive users away, the currency will quickly lose its value. But the demand for financial privacy won’t disappear, and new systems are already emerging. “I don’t feel people have the right to know, unless disclosed, how much cash is in my wallet.” That’s why Bitcoin is preferred no matter the shortcomings.