According to a report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), dark net usage is rising in popularity in the EU.
The report says the dark web had received pretty much attention in the past and is playing an important role in the drug trade “particularly with respect to sales of new psychoactive substances.” The EMCDDA says that even with law enforcement hardly concentrating on taking down these kinds of websites, the marketplaces are continuing to adapt in order to survive and remain on the market. The report details:
“These markets have proven to be very adaptable, and it appears that the effects of such interventions on the online anonymous ecosystem are short term and those operating such sites develop new ways to evade detection, for example by improving encryption and anonymization. It is suggested that a likely future development will be completely decentralized marketplaces that exploit aspects of game theory to side-step current weaknesses — perhaps a ‘dark cloud’ on the horizon.”
According to the EMCDDA, MDMA, cannabis and LSD are the three most popular substances on dark net markets. Vendors mostly are from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States. Based on results from studying Silk Road and Silk Road 2.0, the research team discovered that the EU has been a significant origin point for cannabis, LSD and MDMA.
“Although it is not clear how complete and representative such data are,” the EMCDDA explains, “the findings suggest that Europe may be a significant player in global online drug marketplaces.”
Data has shown the quality of drugs purchased on dark net markets have increased, and the security has been better for customers too — who would otherwise have to deal with street dealers. Online reputation systems have bettered the marketplaces with forums, chat rooms, and vendor ratings that “praise good customer service and warn of bad products.” These features promote safer drug use, as people can inform themselves of the “effects arising from use, modes of use and appropriate dosage.”
Despite the fact that dark web marketplaces provide a safer environment and cleaner substances, the European Union is determined to take down these websites. According to the EMCDDA, the organization, along with authorities, will continue to monitor the activities of dark net markets.