Even without December, Darknet market revenues in crypt currencies surpassed the previous year’s level, reaching a new high of over $1.5 billion, according to the Chainalysis report.
The company’s specialists account for transactions in Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT).
Despite the growth in the total volume of Bitcoin Loophole platform transactions in digital currencies, Chainalysis analysts believe that darkness markets can wait for difficult times.
They drew attention to two trends: the decline in the number of sites and the number of transactions. While at the beginning of the year Chainalysis had 57 active markets in the darnet, by December this figure had fallen to 37, the lowest value since November 2017. In this category, analysts consider markets with monthly turnover of at least $100 in crypt currencies.
Last year, its users made more than 12 million transactions in digital currencies, in 2020 the figure barely exceeded 9 million. The cost per purchase increased on average. According to Chainalysis, this can be explained by the increase in the number of buyers of prohibited goods for subsequent resale and the exit of those who purchased them for personal consumption.
The reduction in the number of sites in the company is seen as a result of law enforcement and increased competition, which leads to consolidation of the sector.
„We have also seen more darknessnet market closures in 2020, including those known as Flugsvamp 2.0 and Empire,“ said Chainalysis.
Analysts cite the implementation of fraudulent schemes and competitor DoS attacks by operators as the main reasons why dacernet markets have stopped operating. Another factor is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which causes problems with delays in delivery.
Earlier, Chainalysis stated that the fall in the price of Bitcoin in the spring of 2020 against the backdrop of global panic from the coronavirus has reduced activity on dacnets markets.