According to research by a blockchain analytics firm, bitcoin transactions on darknet markets jumped 65% in value during the first quarter to $411 million. The amount of bitcoins sent from darknet vendors to mixers also grew rapidly as exchanges with verification requirements became less popular among the darknet users. The researchers analyzed darknet interactions with exchanges and “other entities” throughout the first quarter of this year. Crystal Blockchain that did the published research, is a crypto analytics platform developed by the Bitfury Group.
“The amount of bitcoin transferred by darknet entities is growing.”
The data obtained from darknet markets were then compared to historical darknet activity from the past three years. Other entities include “payment processors, gambling services, illegal services, miners, marketplaces, online wallets, ransom extortioners, scams, stolen coins, and others,” the blockchain analysis firm clarified. The analytical firm wrote that the amount of money being transferred by darknet entities is growing exponentially, and they continue to use the leading cryptocurrency as a medium of transport. The amount of money sent and received from darknet entities increased from $384m in Q1 2019 to $411m in Q1 this year.
“The popularity of this payment method is steadily increasing.”
The bitcoin blockchain firm further wrote that this is partly explained by the growing capitalization of the leading cryptocurrency bitcoin, as well as further mass adoption of the cryptocurrency. As it becomes increasingly easier to use bitcoin, the popularity of this payment method is steadily increasing, the firm added. The darknet entities sent approximately 64,000 BTC and received roughly the same amount in the first quarter of last year. This shows that the overall transfer value increased, but the number of bitcoins transacted through darknet markets declined in the first quarter of 2020. The other popular cryptocurrencies that are used in darknet markets are privacy-focused coins like Monero.