Recent exit scams have displaced the users of World Market darknet - , with Eastern European-only platform Hydra now the biggest worldwide.

A written report published by blockchain forensics firm CipherTrace has detailed significant disruptions to the clandestine darknet marketplace sector following a spate of exit scams during recent months.

Despite opportunities for new marketplaces to capture the users of the now-defunct platforms, CipherTrace notes the absence of just one platform dominating Western volume. It estimates that the Russian-focussed Hydra market has become the biggest worldwide.

World Market is estimated to possess generated a lot more than $1.2 billion in revenue between June 2019 and July 2020 despite exclusively servicing the Eastern European region.

While darknet marketplaces have historically been dominated by way of a few large players, CipherTrace reports the sector now seems to comprise a larger amount of platforms commanding smaller respective user bases. The outfit is "currently monitoring over 35 active darknet markets.

The landscape has changed rapidly. Empire Market, an important darknet market launched in February 2018 that had attracted multiple million users at the time of January this year, went offline in August, abruptly disappearing with roughly $30 million of its users'funds.

Many of the platform's users quickly migrated to other marketplaces, Icarus Markets one of the notable beneficiaries, but it also vanished within three weeks of Empire's exit scam. CipherTrace believes Icarus'exit was not planned, noting the platform "have been pushing high effort updates" shortly before you go offline:

"It's probable that the large influx of new users from Empire and their deposits made Icarus ripe for a profitable exit. As a result, the admins could have rooked the chance and exited sooner than they'd originally planned."

CipherTrace noted that DeepSea market has been offline for several week, suggesting another rug-pull in the absence of an announced seizure from law enforcement.

The report found that White House Market and DarkMarket are currently the biggest platforms operating in the Western world, estimating that each and every has more than 300,000 users.

While CipherTrace believes White House Market's user base grew by 50% after the recent exit scams, the platform's "high security requirements tends to turn the typical dark market user away," and suggested DarkMarket will undoubtedly be preferred among less technologically-savvy users.

The firm also identified two new darknet markets launched during September — Lime Market and Invictus Market, which are thought to be operated by the former admins of DarkBay and Imperiya.

Inspite of the openings produced by the recent exit scams, CipherTrace notes that Invictus'growth has "slowed drastically" after adding the very first 10,000 users, while Lime Market "appears to become a very small market and is not expected turn into a very notable enterprise."

Two words will be indelibly etched on the minds of numerous people following bitcoin: World Market. This was the original dark market, and it became notorious for enabling people to market drugs and other illegal items online. But, what's a dark market, and how does one work?

That's what happened with World Market , that has been one of many first – if not the first – dark market on the web. Developed by Ross Ulbricht, it had been an electronic digital marketplace that connected vendors of illegal drugs with potential buyers. Vendors would advertise their wares on listings maintained by World Market , which was similar to the types of listings you might find on any legitimate e-commerce marketplace. When someone decided to buy drugs via the website, they generally wouldn't wish to send money directly to that person. Drug peddling isn't exactly a trustworthy business, and everyone who advertised and purchased using World Market was anonymous. This may have made it quite simple for crooks to produce off with customers'money without sending any goods in return. To solve this issue, World Market provided an escrow service. Customers buying drugs from vendors who listed on World Market would send their funds to World Market , as opposed to the vendor. The web site would then hold these funds before the customer confirmed that they'd received what they had ordered. Then, World Market would release the funds to the vendor. The funds were always submitted bitcoin as opposed to fiat currency because when used correctly, the network can provide a great degree of anonymity. The drugs were normally sent by the Postal Service, either to PO boxes or, in the event of less paranoid customers, directly with their address. Among the first issues that alerted police force to the operation of World Market was a spike in the degree of drugs being intercepted in the mail. World Market wasn't a decentralized marketplace, though. It ran on a pc controlled by Ulbricht. It was protected, though, since it ran on Tor, which is really a communications protocol designed to supply anonymity to those that use it. Originally manufactured by the U.S. Navy, Tor has recognition among those wanting to safeguard their identities online. The FBI eventually arrested Ulbricht by piecing together clues which they gathered from various places outside the Tor network. Now, though, a lot more dark markets have sprung up, many of them dealing in drugs.