- Darknet websites have gained momentum faster than ever in the present. With the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic researchers on April, 6.
- Darknet has now started to offer face masks and other coronavirus-related equipment in return for bitcoin.
Darknet websites have gained momentum faster than ever in the present. With the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic researchers in April, 6 revealed that darknet trading platforms have now started to offer face masks and other coronavirus-related equipment in return for bitcoin.
According to research shared by blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, the on-going pandemic has raised the demand for protective equipment soars with the sellers being indexed from the United States to Europe and Russia.
It has come to light that anonymous payments in darknet markets are being made in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Darknet markets are e-commerce sites that own design such that it lies beyond the reach of regular search engines. These sites have been popular with criminals since the buyers and sellers are untraceable to a large extent.
Masks For Coronavirus Available in Bulk on Darknet
The pandemic after having infected over a million people and after having killed more than 68,000, there is a rush to secure supplies of masks and other protective equipment by the government all over the world. It is looking forward to all the possible ways to protect the frontline medical staff during this pandemic.
European officials said that even the legitimate markets have turned into the ‘Wild West’ due to the competition over limited supplies of masks.
A Reuters investigation found individual brokers that are selling high-grade N95 masks in the last month at a price beyond the pre-crisis retail levels of about $1 each. This followed the erosion of standard quality controls by the frenzy by opening the market to an influx of masks of uncertain origin and effectiveness.
Also, Elliptic said that a new search engine known as “Recon” on the darknet has indexed listings of coronavirus-related goods on some major marketplaces for sale for the past four weeks. In addition, it called vendors opportunistic who can reach any extent to supply goods that are tough to obtain and the ones that face shortage at other places.
Researchers also asserted that varying prices were observed after the appearance of hundreds of listings of the sought-after N95 masks. The observation was that few of the darknet vendors sold N95 masks for almost 9 euros each whereas others offered the same items for a price as little as $1.50 each in bulk.
Coronavirus “Cures” On Darknet Available to Buy Using Cryptocurrencies
Few of the sellers are taking support by referencing the claims made by the U.S. President Donald Trump over the potential of malaria drug chloroquine being a cure for coronavirus and selling the same. Other sellers are offering coronavirus testing kits with one of the posts making an offer of unverified COVID-19 test strips for around $90 each.
With all the observations made, Elliptic says that it is not possible to confirm the genuine nature of such items and around two-thirds of sellers themselves have the chances to be considered as authentic on the basis of their user ratings and a large number of previous sales.
Lastly Elliptic made an assertion that over a third of those selling coronavirus-related items have their focus on the sale of drugs, while 45% of them sell fraud-related items including hacking services or counterfeit banknotes.