Germany shuts down world’s largest darknet marketplace
- The DarkMarket processed huge transactions valued at 4,650 Bitcoin and 12,800 Monero
- Illegal market hosted users totaling about 500,00 users
- Drug trading funds over €140 million worth of transactions took place within the platform
An investigation led by the Koblenz Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Cybercrime unit has led to the shutdown of the world’s largest DarkMarket. Germany held the front in a joint operation supported by the FBI, DEA as well as officials from Ukraine, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. It was also backed by the law enforcement agency of the European Union, Europol. The investigation led officials to locate and halt activities in the illegal marketplace. Further information would lead to ascertaining the key players in the criminal ring.
Transactions run on the DarkMarket
The official statement put out by Europol indicates that the sellers took advantage of the privacy provided by blockchain coins. The transaction, which involved nearly 2,400 vendors, used Bitcoin and Monero to move coins obtained through the illegal drug trade. The investigation supported by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) also led to the arrest of an Australian citizen near the German-Danish border.
Silk Road DarkMarket halted in 2020
This is not the first case involving the illegal use of cryptocurrencies. In 2020, United States authorities took control of over 69,000 Bitcoins associated with the Silk Road Darkweb. According to reports by Elliptic, the use of private wallets and coins for illegal activities has been on a steady rise. However, it has become increasingly difficult for these transactions to occur without the proper authorities’ knowledge.
According to tweets by a darknet journalist, the German law officials were able to make the arrests possibly with the help of an undercover agent. Other possible scenarios include hacking. The German officials were informed of the exact figures on the same day arrests were made.
An IP leak would have led German officials to the DarkMarket.