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.
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.
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’.