German authorities shut down darknet Bitcoin marketplace

Tuesday 5 April 2022 14:51 CET | News

German authorities have seized USD 25 million in Bitcoin (BTC) as they shut down Hydra Market, closing the darknet marketplace.

The cybercrime office of the Frankfurt prosecutor's office and federal criminal police confiscated 543 BTC as they ‘secured’ the site's servers, according to a federal police statement. Federal police found 17 million customers and 19,000 seller accounts. In 2020, the marketplace had EUR 1.23 billion (USD 1.35 billion) in revenue, the police said.

The Russian-language marketplace also had a built-in Bitcoin privacy mixer, which complicated tracing the transactions, said the police statement. Hydra Market had been operating since 2015 and was accessible via the Tor browser. The site has been taken off the internet.

The market was mainly used for narcotics, and served Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Moldova, according to blockchain forensics firm Ciphertrace. The investigation started in August 2021 and involved US authorities, the police said.

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Keywords: fraud detection, Bitcoin, cryptocurrency exchange, AML, money laundering, marketplace
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Countries: World
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DeFi & Crypto & Web3

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