A new report, commissioned by the Dutch government, shows that online drug markets have grown since 2013 despite an uptick in major crackdowns since that time.
Global Drug Dealers Raking in Millions on the Dark Net
The report was requested by the Netherlands government to determine how drug markets have fared in the years after Silk Road’s demise. Unfortunately for authorities, the report seems to suggest that their efforts to stop online drug trading have mostly failed.
In fact, according to the report, the successors of Silk Road are raking in millions of dollars in revenue each month. British drug dealers have apparently found this industry especially lucrative, making up 16% of global revenue ,or around £1.75 million, between an estimated 338 vendors.
However, also according to the report, cryptomarkets have “grown substantially in the past few years, but not explosively,” which is the best news beleaguered law enforcement agencies could possibly ask for considering the rest of the report.
Among the eight most popular marketplaces surveyed, there are plenty of illicit goods and services to buy, the vast majority (57 percent) of the listings were found to offer drugs. Over a third featured cannabis derivatives (37 per cent), stimulants (29 percent), and members of the ecstasy family (19 percent).
Researchers also found that a quarter of listings were priced above £768 ($1,000), implying that many dealers were using online markets to buy in bulk for offline sale.
In all, researchers estimate that cryptomarkets generated a total monthly revenue of between £9.2m ($12m) and £16m ($21m) in January 2016, or several million more when the prescription drugs, alcohol, and tobacco which were also found for sale are included.
What do you think of new findings showing growth in the global online drug market? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Sott.net, Silk Road