The Largest Dark Web Marketplace Seized by US and Germany


German federal police (Bundeskriminalamt) working with the United States law enforcement agencies have seized Hydra Market, known to be one of the largest and longest-serving dark web marketplaces.

The marketplace accounts for almost 80% of all dark web-linked cryptocurrency transactions accounting for approximately $5.2 billion since 2015. It had almost 17 million user accounts with 19,000 sellers.

Authorities seized crypto wallets and servers holding almost $25 million in Bitcoin. Russia’s Dmitry Pavlov was also charged by the US Department of Justice with narcotics distribution and money laundering due to his operations of the Hydra servers.

Hydra Market largely served people in Russian-speaking countries who bought or dealt in contrabands, drugs, hacking services, or stolen data. The marketplace also made it easier to money launder and crypto ‘mixing,’ making it harder to track digital currency usage.

Both Hydra Market and a Russian crypto exchange firm called Garantex Europe along with 100 crypto addresses were added to a “specially designated nationals” list by the US Treasury Department.

The Bundeskriminalamt released a statement claiming that it had been investigating Hydra with help of the US since August 2021.

The recent crackdown is likely to result in slight disruptions in dark web operations for some time. However, it won’t be long before other dark web shops take over Hydra’s place.

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