The German Federal Police (Bundeskriminalamt), which works closely with law enforcement in the United States, has managed to seize the Hydra Market, considered to be the largest and longest-running dark web market in the world today.
It appears that about 80% of all cryptocurrency transactions related to the dark web have materialized on Hydra Market, and it has ticked about $ 5.2 billion in cryptocurrencies from 2015 to the present. At the time of the “capture”, the market had around 17 million user accounts and 19,000 sellers of any kind.
The seizure included both servers and crypto wallets containing about $ 25 million in Bitcoin, as well as other virtual currencies.
Russian smuggling on the Hydra Market, slowed by German and US authorities
The United States Department of Justice has simultaneously accused Russian resident Dmitry Pavlov of drug trafficking and money laundering for appearing on Hydra Market servers.
Hydra Market served mainly Russian-speaking people for the purpose of buying or selling contraband, including drugs, hacking services and stolen data.
The market has also been involved in the “mixing” of cryptocurrencies, which has made it more difficult to track the fair use of digital currency.
The Treasury Department recently sanctioned Hydra Market, but also Garantex. In a statement to the press, the Bundeskriminalamt said it had investigated illegal actions on the US-based Hydra Market, which began in August last year.
Obviously, this is not the first time that the authorities have closed important markets on the dark web. They previously closed AlphaBay, Silk Road, and recently even DarkMarket.
Although the seizure of these markets will not stop traffic or other illegal operations, it will certainly slow them down, at least temporarily, until online criminals find other ways to do business.