The internet layer that’s accessible via the Tor browser was instrumental in the growth of Bitcoin in its early years. Since then, darknet marketplaces have proliferated, but have come to play a lesser role in the development of cryptocurrencies. In this roundup we consider two recent research papers that provide an insight into features, benefits, and hazards of the deep web.
Monitoring Vendor Migration to Dream Market
In the wake of Operation Bayonet, a law enforcement exercise that shut down the Hansa and Alphabay markets, many vendors flocked to Dream instead. Dream is the longest standing darknet market (DNM), and saw an influx of new vendors and buyers in the wake of 2017’s Operation Bayonet. A recent research paper has tracked the movement of sellers to Dream, and monitored subsequent changes in their behavior.
The origin of new Dream Market vendors
The researchers from the Delft University of Technology tracked vendors who used the same PGP key to verify their Dream accounts as they had on Alphabay and Hansa. They found that Alphabay brought in 50 percent of new vendors, while just 2 percent of Dream signups arrived from Hansa and 8 percent joined from both DNMs.
As Deep Dot Web reports, “66% of the users migrating to Dream Market did not take any noticeable evasive measures. However, 20% of users changed their PGP-keys, 8% changed their usernames, and 6% did both.” For now, Dream Market appears to be thriving: the platform, which accepts BTC and BCH, boasts 98.35 percent uptime and has been active since late 2013.
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