Following Hydra’s dramatic collapse, new darknet markets such as Mega, Blacksprut, Kraken, Solaris, and OMG!OMG! are continuing to thrive.
A year ago the largest darkmarket in the world Hydra (DNS), which was based in Russia, took a fall being scandalously shut by the authorities, yet cybercriminals never seemed to stop their business finding new platforms to operate on.
Such new markets as Mega, Blacksprut, Kraken, Solaris, and OMG!OMG! successfully replaced their big brother continuing the underground cryptocurrency trade.
The life of the darknet after Hydra shut down
German and United states authorities managed to recover the bitcoins worth of up to $25 million after the Hydra was closed on April 5, 2022.
The cyber attackers have divided into two teams moving to the “RuTor” forum and Telegram.
Researchers found that cryptocurrency transfer services and mixer discussions increased on Telegram right after the Hydra dark web sanctions.
The banner that appears when you try to enter the Hydra market page
Ripples felt after the Hydra darknet collapse
Several mixers and exchanges were sanctioned as a result of suspicious transactions between them and Hydra wallets.
Some exchange services that provided transactions with Hydra also fell under sanctions as a result of suspicious activity.
Flash Report says that those exchanges accepted more than $125 million from Hydra and sent around 170$ back.
The US authorities claimed the most risky exchangers to be Bitzlato, Chatex, and Blender by accusing them of stealing funds in transactions with Hydra in a period of time 2015-2022.
It was found out that the Russia-based dark web has made over $1 billion of fortune in 2020, which made a huge impact on the darknet ecosystem after its closure.
Today the experts notice some independent vendors and vendor shops take advantage of the darknet resources using them in their best interests.
Five darknet markets who made it after the Hydra collapse
The most transactions today take place in previously mentioned five darknet markers – Mega, Blacksprut, Kraken, Solaris, and OMG!OMG!
The dark web OMG!OMG! made sales worth more than $12.15 million on its first illegal trade month, April 2022, while Mega broke the Russian market records by collecting almost $40 million in March, 2023, according to the report.
Another new market Blacksprut took advantage of the Hydra shut down earning almost $20 million on the illegal trades.
Russian-language dark web markets vs western DNMs
The report also contrasted the difference among the Russian-language DNM vendor and its Western markets.
Russian DNMs use the ‘dead-drop delivery model’ to restrict commerce in the territory of its suppliers and couriers due to the client’s geographical limitations.
At the same time Western DNMs can only rely on the international mail delivery model to reach the clients from abroad.