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Hydra's 'complex drug distribution system' in Russia overwhelms the Western Darknet markets


On September 14, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis reported on the famous Russian darknet market (DNM) called Hydra and noted that DNM is the "sixth largest service by volume in the region" of Eastern Europe. Moreover, the report also revealed that Hydra has created a "complex drug distribution system" within Russia and across various countries in Europe.

Russian Hydra Market: The 6th largest cryptocurrency service by volume in Eastern Europe At the end of August, the darknet marketplace (DNM) community said goodbye to Empire Market, which suddenly decided to get rid of the scam on August 22. News.Bitcoin.com reported the consequences and how patrons of DNM scramble to find alternative solutions.

On Monday, Chainalysis published a report on crypto market activity in Eastern Europe this year, and the company's findings linked Russian DNM named Hydra.

Darknet Market Hydra was launched in 2015 and it runs alongside the Famous Russian Incognito Market (RAMP). However, Hydra claims that its main focus is on drugs and that RAMP disappeared by the end of 2017. Reports emphasize that after RAMP's departure, “Hydra has seen an increase in human enrollment. use and operation of the supplier ”.


The longstanding darknet market, Hydra, is the sixth most popular cryptocurrency service by volume in Eastern Europe according to statistics by Chainalysis.
Hydra's Dropgangs and Dead Drops
In addition to drugs, Hydra also allows its suppliers to sell other items such as digital goods, SIM cards, and miscellaneous items.


Hydra became hugely popular after the collapse of the Russian RAMP darknet market. Hydra focuses on drugs but also sells digital goods and SIM cards.
The Chainalysis report notes that these days, DNM Hydra, is currently the "sixth largest" cryptocurrency service in Eastern Europe by volume in the region. Furthermore, Chainalysis details that Hydra uses a very related scheme for delivery.

The Chainalysis report notes: “As one of the largest darknet markets in the world, Hydra has built up a complex drug distribution system in Russia and other Eastern European countries.

“The carrier takes delivery orders in a similar way to Uber drivers and delivers packages in discrete locations that are delivered to the buyer afterwards so neither party has to meet or talk directly. There is no other region that can be compared in terms of darknet market revenue or the complexity of operations, ”concluded the Chainalysis East Europe study.


Eastern Europe captures the most DNM values ​​according to data from the recent Chainalysis report.
In another study, Darkowl.com says Hydra has been active since the Silk Road days, and in 2016, DNM "reappeared" with a new onion URL. “Hydra prefers serious Russian drug suppliers, allowing only sellers willing to pay 'rent' their store and asking for a monthly payment of over $ 100 to use the service,” said Darkowl. com write. "This [method] reduces the likelihood that the providers are really scammers or law enforcement using the site for manipulation and exploitation."

On September 15, Filtermag.org published an article interviewing some drug users from Russia to see how they were coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. Several individuals interviewed took advantage of the thriving DNM economy in Russia and specifically discussed Hydra's related delivery activities.


Russian-speaking participants have to pay a fee to become customers but providers also have to pay admin fees to join Hydra. A study written by EMCDDA and Europol found that main Hydra operators earn 6 times more commissions than DNM operators tend to give English-speaking residents.
A user named Sasha said that Hydra and the deep web were beneficial in buying drugs during the pandemic. Sasha explains that some Hydra vendors are leveraging "geotagged" locations so people don't even have to meet each other.

“During a pandemic, a great delivery function appeared on Hydra,” said Sasha in her interview. “To use it, you need to pay five thousand rubles [$ 67], but‘ treasure ’(drugs) is placed as close to the place you specify as possible. Fun is not cheap, but perhaps such a trend has been pointed out in relation to pandemics and closures.

The Darknet Tower of Russia compared with its Western counterparts
In a 2019 study by Russian DNM Hydra, it is estimated that the market serves more than 400,000 regular customers and has more than 2 million registered users to date. No one is sure exactly how big the Hydra is but it only allowed the participants to speak Russian. Despite this barrier of entry, Hydra still managed to eclipse the total number of DNM that caters to Western users with a foresight.

In the Chainalysis study published this week, the study notes that Eastern Europe dominates with DNM activity the most, in terms of the value of DNM sent to a particular region. It is followed by Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Central and South Asia, East Asia and Latin America. Estimates from a joint publication by EMCDDA and Europol show that Hydra's main operators earn six times more commissions, as opposed to DNM operators serving the Western Hemisphere.

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