Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics firm, has released a report on the dynamics of darknet markets and fraud shops following the collapse of the former giant Hydra Market. The closure of Hydra was due to joint actions from authorities in Germany and the United States. As a result, average daily revenue for all dark web markets dropped from $4.2 million to $447,000, with total darknet market revenue for 2022 amounting to $1.5 billion.
Three major darknet markets gained dominance in the wake of Hydra’s downfall: Mega Darknet Market, Blacksprut Market, and OMG!OMG! Market. OMG!OMG! Market recorded the highest inflows and activities throughout 2022, and on-chain data has shown that its central wallets use a group of deposit addresses previously used by Hydra. Blacksprut and Mega sent funds to the same group of addresses but not as much as OMG, suggesting an administrative or vendor overlap between all four markets.
The report further reveals that OMG’s period of dominance was immediately after Hydra’s demise, and it continued until June when the platform suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This caused vendors and users to migrate to Blacksprut Market and Mega Darknet Market, with the latter gaining the most market share. However, Blacksprut also got hacked in November, forcing users to move to Mega Market.