Authorities have recently shut down one of the world’s leading dark web marketplaces, Sipulimarket. The clamped down took place last week and led to the confiscation of several items, including bitcoin.
Domain Seized by Law Enforcement Agencies
The closure was led by the Finnish Customs and was aided by the Polish Police and Europol’s European Cybercrime Center. Cybersecurity company, Bitdefender, worked closely with Europol to ensure the relevant authorities were safe. A quick visit to the site showed that it has been taken down. ‘This domain has been seized’ is the first thing you come across, before seeing the different logos of the companies involved.
According to a press release from Europol, Sipulimarket has been dealing with criminal items since last year. The market place is renowned for being a hub for all sorts of transactions including hard drug sales and illegal commodities. These were usually traded in huge quantities across different locations.
Before it was taken down, Sipulimarket was the sole dark marketplace in Finland. Silkkitie (Valhalla) was a Finnish dark web site that was taken down last year, leaving just Sipulimarket. Since 2019, the site had been using the Tor network, due to the anonymity it provides.
Crypto is Perfect for the Dark Web
Although the amount of Bitcoin confiscated was not revealed, it is believed to be a lot. The Finnish Customs acknowledged that they seized Bitcoin, but would not say how much. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is widely employed by darknet users because of transaction anonymity. Unlike fiat, cryptos are hard to trace. This makes them a perfect payment method for sites like Sipulimarket.
The dark web is a portion of the internet hidden from the general public and only accessible to a small number of people. Everything illegal from firearm sales to human trafficking majorly happens there.
According to Interpol, the use of cryptocurrencies on the dark web has continued to increase. This increase has forced authorities to continue to look for ways to address these illegal activities. All in a bid to reduce or eliminate their occurrence. It also reinforces the view that crypto is bad and only suited for criminals. Subsequently, giving the crypto space a bad name.