The entire world has been locked down owing to the current COVID-19 pandemic, with entertainment spots, bars and clubs being prompted to shut business.
The current global circumstance taken a heavy toll on drug-trafficking hotbeds as prospective consumers shift their priorities. Among the affected industries includes the dark net drug dealing networks that depend on Bitcoin as a mode of payment for drugs.
Considering the fact that the Bitcoin price has suffered tremendously in just weeks, it becomes obvious that dark web drug dealers have suffered bad business. Bitcoin’s price fell by a staggering 50% on a single day in the third week of March, an aspect that has been observed to be among the greatest crashes experienced by the cryptocurrency.
Overall Economic Impact
Generally, the economic impact of COVID-19 fears, and the subsequent worldwide lockdowns, have sent ripples across the planet. Analysts have observed the mass loss of jobs in many countries as world markets stare at an imminent recession. This aspect stands true even in the face of radical government action by the U.S. government as well as critical decisions that have been enforced by central banks across the world.
The current reality has firmly reflected on equity markets that have recorded the worst performance since the year 2008. Gold and Silver have also witnessed a plunge in value as businesses, both legal and illicit, continue to grapple with untold feelings of uncertainty in the coming months.
Falling Darknet Revenue
As for darknet markets, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a rather novel scenario. In the past, according to Chainalysis, the revenue earned by darknet markets exhibited a weak inverse correlation with Bitcoin’s price.
Dark web market activity was not significantly affected by Bitcoin price fluctuations. It was common knowledge that darknet users were willing to procure drugs regardless of the prevailing Bitcoin price.
Today, the Bitcoin price/darknet activity relationship has been reversed, a situation that is evidenced by a fall in darknet market revenue, an aspect that is a far cry from what we expected with Bitcoin’s recent woes.
In the context of darknet commerce, it is possible that the fall in drug sales is begotten by the current public health crisis apart from the fact that entertainment hotspots have postponed operations.
It is also likely that darknet vendors have scaled down sales owing to the Bitcoin price drop that seems to be offering no hope for the coming months. It would be natural for drug sellers to be concerned about the possibility that they Bitcoin they accept today may turn out to be completely worthless in the near future.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on supply chains may have extended its effects on the drug trade and touched darknet drug dealers.
It is possible that drug dealers are finding it very hard to distribute substances from one destination to the other. In fact, it is reported that the Sinaloa Drug Cartel has faced difficulty in sourcing for fentanyl from China’s Hubei province- the center of the global fentanyl trade, which happens to be the epicenter of COVID-19.