Following the onset of the covid pandemic, an economic meltdown occurred internationally. Even as traditional stock markets took a hit from the crisis, dark-net markets responded differently. Dark-net markets are thriving during the covid pandemic.
Analysis of the dark-net during the pandemic
A host of expert analysis has highlighted the exponential growth of darknet marketplaces. Since the start of the pandemic, particular observations have been made on the rising number of first-time dark web market users.
As it stands, Empire Market tops the list of the largest eCommerce sites across the hidden web. The existing wave of social media and dark-net forum discussions highlight the platform’s significance. The covid-19 pandemic has turned the dark-net into a go-to destination for products and services.
According to an anonymous TOR researcher who doubles as the dark-net analyst of dark.fail, Empire Market came back online in July after an outage. A Twitter post by the analyst shared the news, and claimed that the market’s DDoS filter came back online. Empire market recovered after an 18 hour outage.
Additionally, speaking to VICE News the anonymous researcher opined that the community of dark web markets are in a golden age. Evidenced suggests this by the growth in demand for dark-net markets and the number of sales.
As dark-net markets continue to get flooded by users stuck at home, conflicting reports show an expected discrepancy. The supply chain - dark-net shoppers are worried about the disruption of postal and delivery services during the crisis.
Mail Delivery disrupting the dark-net?
A report was published by Sixgill, a notable cyber intelligence firm. The report weighed in on the dynamics of the dark-net economy amid the raging coronavirus pandemic. The study reported multiple similarities between legitimate online sectors and the dark-net ecosystem. Consumer anxiety on the disruption of mail services was noted in both worlds.
The uncertain economic climate created by the global health crisis was reflected in multiple ways. Shipping delays, product pricing and the overall state of customer service
Indeed, the peak of the coronavirus lockdown created major ripples within the mail service industry. Mail sorting lines were overloaded, understaffed and swamped with extra work as online sales surged through the roof.
Towards the end of March, industry giants seemed to have encountered a massive disruption in the mail system. As an example, Amazon Prime next-day delivery service was seen to be experiencing delays. Other British retail giants reported difficulties across their home delivery systems as-well.
The above effect seemed to spread to dark-net markets that have long depended on postal systems. Postal systems maintained clear distribution networks that could be used for dark-net orders. The weeks that followed the mail disruption were marked with notable dark-net vendor worry, caution and postal delays. That placed them at crossroads with impatient customers.
Today, it turns out that the biggest concern for dark-net market users is the shutdown of postal and shipping services across the world. A large number of posts on the subreddit r/darknet have attributed to users worry about the extent by which drug shipments have been affected. The already-suffering global economy was creating more damage to the chain. Users seem wary of a bad future for the mail service industry.
One thread called "Trump is destroying the USPS” was locked down by the subreddit’s moderators. The post seems to reflect the widespread dark-net user concern. The future of the United States Postal Service is very uncertain and will be known soon.
Even as the dark-net seemed to prosper in the past few months, it would be untrue to say that its doing great. It would be proper to conclude that the only thing standing in the way of unstoppable dark-net market success is the massive mail disruption. Mail disruption has accompanied the pandemic’s economic consequences.