On Tuesday, April 5, the German Federal Criminal Police Department (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) closed the well-known underground Russian-language trading platform Hydra Market, seized its servers and confiscated 543 bitcoins (about 23 million euros at the current exchange rate), writes Spiegel.
The largest illegal trading platform in the darknet, Hydra Market, has been operating since at least 2015 and had more than 17 million users and more than 19 thousand registered sellers. The platform allowed to sell and buy narcotic substances, forged documents, stolen data and “digital services”. In addition, she offered clients a bitcoin mixer to mask financial transactions with cryptocurrencies.
According to BKA, 1.23 billion euros worth of goods were sold through Hydra Market in 2020 alone, which makes it an illegal trading platform with the highest turnover in the world.
A banner was posted on the platform’s website announcing its official closure.
The investigation into Hydra Market has been underway since 2021. In addition to the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) at the Frankfurt am Main Prosecutor’s Office and the BKA, several US federal agencies also participated in it. The identities of the operators and administrators of the trading platform have not yet been established.