Russian market Hydra makes up 75% of global darknet revenue, report

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Russian darknet marketplace Hydra sent over $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency to Eastern Europe last year, making the region one of the world’s crypto crime capitals.

According to Chainalysis’ 2021 Crypto Crime Report, Russia-based portal Hydra sent more crypto to the region in 2020 than some legit crypto exchanges did, including Kraken, OKEx, Bittrex and Kucoin.

Source: Chainalysis

Researchers deemed Hydra the “largest darknet market in the world.” The site accounted for over 75% of global revenues — even though it only serves Russian-speaking countries.

After ranking entities by their crypto inflows, Chainalysis said Eastern Europe was the only area with a criminal enterprise in its top 10.

In fact, the only services that routed more crypto to Eastern Europe than Hydra were Binance, Huobi, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, and Coinbase.

Source: Chainalysis

[Read more: Unlicensed Bitcoin exchange operator faces up to 25 years in prison]

The firm noted global darknet revenues hit a record high last year. Illicit sites attracted upward of $1.7 billion, with Hydra growing the fastest.

Hydra employs unusually sophisticated methods which reportedly include an Uber-style system of anonymous couriers and secret ‘drops’.

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