According to a study conducted by Crystal Blockchain Analytics, in the first quarter of 2020 the total value in USD of Bitcoins transferred to the dark web increased compared to the first quarter of the previous year.
Over the past three years, according to the report, the USD value of Bitcoins (BTC) transferred to the dark web increased 340%. According to the company, this growth could be related to the gradual adoption of cryptocurrency by the masses.
In fact, the amount of Bitcoins received by sites on the dark web has decreased from 64,000 BTC in the first quarter of 2019 to 47,000 BTC in the first quarter of 2020; the number of BTCs sent has also decreased, from 64,000 to 50,000 BTC.
However, if you consider the value in USD, the volumes of money on the dark web have actually increased: from 384 million to 411 million dollars. This is because in the first quarter of 2019 the price of a single BTC was $3,500, while in the first quarter of 2020 it was about $7,500.
Users on the dark web more attentive to anonymity
Crystal Blockchain Analytics also found that users of the dark web tend to use fewer exchange services that require identity verification, in favor of more anonymous services such as mixers.
In particular, the amount of Bitcoin sent to sites on the dark web via exchange decreased from 14,073 BTC in Q1 2019 to 5,455 BTC in Q1 2020.
Bitcoin remains the most used cryptocurrency
The company has found that Bitcoin Trader, Bitcoin Circuit, Bitcoin Profit, Bitcoin Revolution, Bitcoin Code, Bitcoin Evolution, Immediate Edge, Bitcoin Billionaire, The News Spy, Bitcoin Era remains by far the most popular cryptocurrency on the dark web:
„It is also worrying that entities on the dark web continue to increase the amount of Bitcoins (both BTC and their USD value) sent between them. These statistics indicate that Bitcoin continues to be an important financial tool for entities on the dark web.
Crystal Blockchain Analytics points out that although users on the dark web attempt to hide their transactions through mixing services, such activities are actually „easy“ to identify and monitor:
„The impact of the strict regulations imposed by the FAFT [Financial Action Task Force] and the European Union to combat such illegal activities is evident. We expect to see even more significant changes in these patterns throughout 2020 as a result of these initiatives“.