A new study found that Britain has the second highest online drug use in the world. The study was done on dark net markets, and was done on the number of transactions being done in various countries. In total, the number of transactions done online in Britain has tripled in just three years, coming it at a staggering 15 million euros a month.
Over a four-week period, the study showed that this year, vendors in the UK comprised 16 percent of the trade, around 1.8 million euros. Coming in first is the United States, totaling more than a third of the entire total.
Researchers at RAND Europe, found Britain to have 338 sellers advertising a variety of drugs on the markets, and completed over 20,000 transactions a month. That averages out to about 5,100 euros per month, per dealer. Following close behind were Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Since the highly publicized take down of Silk Road in 2013, markets have come and gone in regular fashion. Some seem to be in it for the long haul, while others spring up, only to vanish within a few months.
The study showed that despite the offline trade still beating it, totaling 1.7bn euros a month, there is a rapid, steady growth in the online drug trade. The increase in safety, and quality of the products purchased online are two of the deciding factors making users switch to the online drug trade.
“The UK is one of the most significant bases for vendors in this market and is certainly the biggest in Europe in terms of numbers of vendors and monthly revenue. It is a growing market. The closure of Silk Road has not curbed the growth of these crypto markets, as more markets continue to be created and more illicit drugs are being bought online. Crypto markets are often online only for several months and users seem to be operating under the assumption that they could be closed at any moment.” researcher Stijn Hoorens, of RAND Europe stated.
The study also found that the majority of the buyers and sellers are young, English speaking males with top notch computer skills. Dealers went both ways the study proved, with some being already established drug dealers simply branching out as technology allows, as well as people who have never sold drugs before, using new technology to try it out for the first time.
Marijuana came in at the top of the list of drugs being bought and sold online, counting for 40 percent. Coming in second are uppers like cocaine and speed; which were 29 percent. Ecstasy and its variants came in third, at only 19 percent of total sales.
The study showed that a quarter of the deals were for 770 euros or more, or $1000. This suggests that these deals are for resale, rather than personal use.
The study reviled that dealers are also using new techniques to stop the ever growing capabilities of Law Enforcement. It showed that some dealers in the Netherlands are crossing into Germany to ship since some countries are now flagging packages from the world’s top MDMA and Ecstasy exporter.
Contrary to popular belief, the online drug business in booming, with the most popular, successful vendor cashing in an estimated 206,000 euros a month.