Still plenty of money to be made with online drug sales via dark web

Dark web drug businesses still highly lucrative.

Published Fri, Aug 21 2015 11:25 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:04 PM CST

The feds might have successfully shuttered Silk Road, and locked away the site's founder, but there are plenty of other drug marketplaces available on the dark web. The underground marketplace is absolutely booming, with more than $100 million worth of drugs and other illegal substances sold each year, according to researchers from Carnegie Mellon University researchers.

Still plenty of money to be made with online drug sales via dark web | TweakTown.com

Even after Silk Road 2 was also busted, the success from both sites revealed the huge business potential. Total sales volume ranges from $100 million to $180 million per year in sales volume, according to CMU computer professor Nicolas Christin.

Researchers found 70 percent of drug dealers sold less than $1,000, with only two percent racking up more than $100,000 in illicit sales. To make things difficult for federal agents and law enforcement, operators of these sites are embracing encryption and other tools to try to stay anonymous online.

"The market is relatively stable, with sales between 300,000 and 500,000 dollars a day," said Christin, in a statement published on Wired. "It's not huge, but it's not negligible, and it's a lot bigger than we had reported in 2012."

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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