The darknet is often touted as the go-to place for buying and selling drugs. With its additional layers of privacy and anonymity, as well as a global reach, deep web marketplaces have become synonymous with online drugs sales. But the 2016 World Drug Report shows there is very little impact on the international drug trade, despite the darknet becoming increasingly popular.
People who buy and sell drugs on the darknet will usually do so in exchange for Bitcoin. As a result, many people see cryptocurrency as a currency only used by criminals. But when looking at the overall statistics, the drug economy continues to be fueled by cash, money transfers, and bank transactions.
The Darknet Is A Small Blip On The International Radar
Over the past few years, there have been several darknet-related drug arrests all over the world. While it is true online narcotics sales are going up every quarter, they do little to impact the overall drug trade. When both industries are on the rise, one has very little impact on the other in the grand scheme of things.
One thing that stands out from the 2016 World Drug Report is how emerging markets seem to have fewer darknet vendors compared to other regions. That is not entirely surprising, despite many people assuming these regions are infested with drug trades, to begin with. There are regions where the drug trade has become a necessity to survive, but that is not always the case.
The biggest surprise in the report is how the majority of darknet sales do not impact the international market by any means. To be more precise, nearly all of the darknet drug sales are shipped to domestic users, rather than international customers. When weighing the risk against the reward, that is not an irrational decision by any means.
At the same time, most of the border customs services and postal offices are vastly understaffed. A lot of packages may slip through without even being looked at twice. However, the risk for getting busted is always there, and many vendors are not willing to take the risk just yet.
Looking over the international data, drug trades continue to be dominated by cash transactions and wire transfers through offshore accounts. Moving large amounts of money internationally still seemingly requires face-to-face sales. When using the deep web, that element is stripped away; as one never knows if they are dealing with undercover law enforcement or a regular vendor.
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