Move over Hydra, OMG!OMG! is the darkweb’s latest trojan horse

new chainalysis report It found that sanctions have not weakened the existence of dark web markets that trade illegal drugs and services over the internet.

The report found an unusual drop in income from the previous year.

Darknet Markets and Scam Shop Revenues, 2020-2022 (Source: Chainalysis)
Darknet Markets and Scam Shop Revenues, 2020-2022 (Source: Chainalysis)

According to blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis, the shutdown of Hydra, one of the world’s largest dark websites, has significantly reduced revenue across the market in 2022.

After Hydra, the vendor quickly moved to several other platforms, according to reports.

Using on-chain analysis, researchers confirmed that the wallets were previously associated. At Hydra, accounts popped up right away. OMG!OMG! the market too.

Both platforms share a similar business model based on selling drugs via geographic coordinates where packages are hidden in parks and other public places. Its location is then texted to customers who later pay using cryptography.

Dark Web after Hydra

The dark web after Hydra is also populated by other players. Hydra was once the most successful marketplace for illicit goods and services such as drugs, counterfeit documents and money laundering, with most of its users living in Russia and surrounding countries.

The platform offers a cryptocurrency cashout service and has also announced its launch plans. Initial Coin Offering (ICO) In 2019, a plan that did not come true.

Top 25 Darknet Markets and Scam Shops (Source: Chainalysis)
Top 25 Darknet Markets and Scam Shops (Source: Chainalysis)

In April 2022, the U.S. government added Hydra’s cryptocurrency wallet to its sanctions list, and German authorities shut down the platform and seized 543 bitcoins worth approximately $25 million from the wallet.

However, in the aftermath of Hydra’s closure, some competitors have emerged. OMG!OMG!, Also includes Blacksprut, and Mega Darknet Market.

Chainalysis reported that all three are high-risk exchanges with a significant presence in Russia and utilize a standard set of deposit addresses. Another blockchain intelligence firm, TRM Labs, said Hydra’s competitors saw an influx of $820 million in cryptocurrency deposits following Hydra’s sanctions.

As market share was lost, other competitors began to get creative. One company parked a bus with its logo in the center of Moscow. Vise It reports that it also projected advertisements on large buildings in Moscow.

According to the report, by May 2022, OMG!OMG! had a 50% market share of dark web activity in Russia, but lost it in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in May. Vice also reports that it’s not uncommon for competitors in this business to hire hacking mercenaries to bring down each other’s sites.

Other dark web earnings

Hydra’s closure ultimately led to a drop in industry-wide revenue, says Chainalysis’s report. According to reports, in 2021 the dark web shop cumulatively made him $2.6 billion in total revenue. However, in 2022, this figure has dropped to $1.3 billion. Chainalysis reports that his average daily earnings in the market dropped sharply from his $4.2 million before Hydra’s closure to just $447,000 shortly after its closure.

Additionally, the report found that the closure of Bypass Shop, another drug marketplace, another Russian entity reportedly shut down by police, also contributed to the decline in overall revenue. .

However, Chainalysis found that while drug shop revenues have gradually recovered since late 2022, revenues from websites selling illegal non-drug products, such as stolen personal and banking data, have continued to decline. I discovered that there is For example, Brian Dumps, the largest market for stolen banking data in 2022, saw revenue drop to near zero in October for unknown reasons, a Chainalysis report reveals.

Posted In: Analysis, Crime

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