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Cryptocurrency has always been associated with something shady until it became a successful legal industry across the world. 2017 managed to bring Bitcoin into the light and the lives of common people, but the dark past of only being used on illegal platforms is far from forgotten.
When it comes to Bitcoin, which is usually the go-to currency on such websites, it’s a bit easier to track as long as one player makes a mistake and transfers the funds to a hot wallet. The darknet marketplace is mostly known for selling illegal syndicate drugs as well as various other substances. Things such as firearms, people’s credit card information and almost everything that one can imagine as illegal are being sold there.
There were also cases when people were buying gift cards or just foreign money as well as for cryptocurrencies to access a real money Bitcoin casino with the intention of avoiding government eyes. Furthermore, most platforms are not just a regular darknet website where only the above-mentioned products are sold. There are platforms where almost every single illegal activity is conducted. Things like extortions, sales of guns, money laundering and even human trafficking are seen. People from all over the world have been selling forbidden stuff for Bitcoins over the years only to have been easily traced by the police.
As Ciphertrace reported recently that it manages to track 87% of the global crypto transaction volume in 700 cryptocurrencies.
Having a notorious platform can give them a local token is pretty much close to a guarantee for absolute anonymity, thus demanding immediate action from as many local authorities as possible.
A notorious ICO to change everything
One of the world’s largest marketplaces in both Russia and the world, called Hydra is preparing for a large ICO in order to fund its expansion to different countries. Right now, the marketplace operates in Russia and the surrounding nations but is aiming to get into countries like the United States and the European Union.
The ICO will be
worth around $146 million and will commence in the near future. The Russian authorities are already investigating the matter and will start using the information already available to them to track down the people behind this huge illegal market.
Many politicians and experts have noted that should this ICO commence without any kind of interference from the government it will introduce a whole new level of drug trafficking and financial crime in the West. It is likely that multiple special agencies across several countries will combine their efforts to put an end to not only this particular platform but the whole of darknet.
Why is this ICO such a big deal?
Normally, such advances from an illegal platform would not have been reacted to so severely. In most cases, the government would allow for the event to happen and would start investigating after the fact due to better traceability and more tangible evidence. However, having such a large platform that spans across dozens of countries and several continents is not a domestic issue for Russia alone. It’s a global issue.
Furthermore, an ICO from such a platform is guaranteed to sell privacy tokens, which are much harder, if not impossible to trace by the government.
However, there are other opinions on the net. Some claim that Hydra plans to make the “exit scam” with the fundraised capital — since no one in their mind will be there and try to re-claim the investments on a regulatory level. Some say this kind of investment is so dangerous, that the watchdogs will eventually track down every investor and condemn them for being a part of criminal group.
Either way, this pretty obviously illegal initiative is a clear sign that cryptos are getting even more adopted on the black market, than they currently get on regulatory levels, and that is no good at all.
Image courtesy of Josh Kaufman
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