Darknet Marketplaces Move to Prevent Fentanyl Overdose Incidents

A drug dealer with a conscience is not something many people are readily willing to come to terms with. But few darknet marketplaces known for facilitating the sale of illegal drugs for Bitcoin payments have started to grown a conscience.

According to reports, AlphaBay and Darknet Heroes League are the two darknet marketplaces that are actively discouraging the sale of drugs laced with fentanyl and other similar chemicals. These marketplaces may not be driven by a streak of altruism to do so, but rather they want to reduce the attention of law enforcement agencies on their operations.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency and other law enforcement agencies have reported a surge in fentanyl related overdoses. These incidents are increasingly being connected to darknet marketplaces as many people these days have started buying drugs and other illegal substances from these places.

A representative of AlphaBay claims to offer a free vendor account on the marketplace if the seller intends to sell harm-reducing medications like Naloxone. Naloxone, better known by its brand name Narcan is a medication used to treat opioid overdose. Similarly, the operators of Darknet Heroes League have decided to prevent vendors from selling fentanyl and its analogues on the platform. Any vendor found selling such drugs will be notified by the moderators of Darknet Heroes League. If the vendor fails to take down the product listing within 48 hours, their accounts will be cancelled.

The Darknet Heroes League is said to have posted a notice on their landing page saying,

“Due to recent deaths and the threat to customers’ well-being, we’ve come to the decision that starting today (08/19/16) we will no longer allow the sale of fentanyl and its related analogues on our market. We’ve given all vendors that sell this product a 48-hour notice to remove the product from their listings or possibly lose their ability to vend. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.”

These darknet marketplaces offer a certain layer of obscurity to those dealing with drugs. These sites try to keep the platform free from any readily identifiable information, which combined with the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin offers additional privacy to both buyers and sellers.

The privacy concerns related to the pseudonymous nature of Bitcoin transactions has made AlphaBay adopt Monero. Monero, built on CryptoNote protocol makes cryptocurrency transactions anonymous by preventing an observer from accessing the wallet addresses associated with transactions on the network. Monero support on AlphaBay is expected to go live in September.

Whether these actions on the part of darknet marketplace owners will help reduce fentanyl related incidents or not is yet to be seen.

Ref: DeepDotWeb | Image: Shutterstock