Amid the ravage caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus, illicit darknet operators are now demanding bitcoin in exchange for coronavirus face masks. Criminals always love the anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies, and it is not surprising why illegal darknet operators love doing business using cryptocurrencies.
On top of offering face masks, the darknet operators are also selling other handy health gears that are necessary to fight the COVID-19 onslaught. The operators are selling equipment such as ventilators, assorted medical equipment and “cures” using digital currencies.
Over the past few weeks, dark websites across Europe, the United States, and Russia have emerged amid the growth in demand for such items. With almost everybody worried about their lives, the demand for goods such as; canned items, toilet rolls, packaged food, and medical equipment has skyrocketed. People all over the world are piling up equipment to ensure they have enough supplies while locked in their homes.
Illicit darknet operators taking advantage of the shortage in N-95 masks globally
The entire world is currently struggling with high demand and shortage in N-95 face masks. Darkweb operators are exploiting the current state to sell the masks at a profit. According to blockchain analysis firm, Elliptic, opportunistic operators are looking to cash in during the current crisis.
The blockchain analysis firm claims that darknet users are always looking to supply goods that are hard to come by in the traditional marketplaces. Elliptic states that the latest attempt by illicit darknet operators to provide N-95 masks are designed to counteract global governments.
“These vendors are opportunistic, jumping on any opportunity to supply goods that are difficult to obtain elsewhere.”
Masks going for ten times the standard price on the darknet
Moreover, Reuters conducted a separate exploration on the matter back in March. Reuters uncovered that several dark websites have started vending high-grade face masks; for far more than the standard price of $1 that is charged in sites like Amazon. The illicit darknet operators sell their gas masks for even as high as $11 according to Reuters.
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