The first quarter of 2020 closed with a 65% increase in bitcoin trading volumes on the dark web (darknet), compared to the first quarter of last year.
This was revealed by a recent report from Crystal Blockchain, focused on the use of Bitcoin by entities operating on the darknet or through mixers.
It was actually a lower number of BTC, but a higher volume in its US dollar countervalue.
In fact, the total amount received by darknet entities decreased from 64,000 BTC in the first quarter of 2019 to 47,000 BTC in the first quarter of 2020, and the total amount sent by darknet entities decreased from 64,000 BTC to 50,000 BTC.
However, considering the volumes in USD, it went from $ 384 million to $ 411 million.
The report explains that the cause lies not only in the increase in the value of bitcoin in dollars, but is a bitcoin mass adoption process as a means of transferring value, thanks to greater ease and the growing popularity of BTC.
Furthermore, the average number of transactions to exchanges has decreased and this seems to indicate a reduction in the use for criminal activities or within dark networks, in favor of anonymization services such as mixers.
Cryptocurrencies on the dark web
The volume of bitcoin sent between entities operating in darknets has also increased, but the explanation could be in the fact that darknet users may be using these transactions to hide their bitcoin flow within darknets.
In light of these data, Crystal Blockchain concludes that Bitcoin continues to be a financial tool used by entities operating in dark networks, in particular for the online sale of drugs or other illicit products.
There is a real battle going on between exchanges, trying to identify these BTCs of dubious origin, and users operating on dark networks trying to avoid being recognized.
In particular, the latter have begun to prefer the services of mixers to withdrawal exchanges.
Crystal Blockchain reveals that thanks to special analytical tools, these activities are relatively easy to identify and monitor, while increasingly stringent regulations issued by the FATF and the European Union are playing an obvious role in fighting these illegal activities.