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Hydra Darknet Market Shut Down!

Hydra darknet market was shut down by Germany’s Federal Police on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Shortly after, a Russian resident was indicted by the Department of Justice  on conspiracy charges related to the Hydra market.

As a result, the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), added over 100 addresses connected with the Hydra market to the Sanctioned list. This simply means that as cryptocurrency exchange users, we are not to transact with these addresses.

WHAT WAS HYDRA?

Hydra was the largest darknet market that existed  few years before now and  which majorly served the Russians. The darknet market  received above $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021, which was more than  75% of all darknet market revenue worldwide.

HOW THE HYDRA DARKNET MARKET OPERATED

Hydra darknet market operated in a complex way. It’s mode of operation involved scheduling drug deliveries with anonymous couriers. Then a  method for contactless cash-for-drugs transactions in which purchasers buried cash in out-of-the-way wooded areas for sellers to dig up later.  These procedures improved anonymous market transactions within the Hydra darknet market.

HYDRA MARKET AND MONEY LAUNDERING

Hydra darknet market and its vendors both provided money laundering services. This was carried out in  a tightly-controlled and regulated infrastructure. Thus, enabling merchants and other cybercriminals to convert cryptocurrencies into Russian rubles  through a few pre-approved services.

According to Chainalysis, Hydra has received $645 million in bitcoin from illegal sources since 2020. This includes funds from other darknet markets, wallets storing stolen cash, ransomware operators, and scammers. This is believed to be as a result of Hydra’s money laundering services.

THE IMPLICATION OF THE HYDRA MARKET SHUT DOWN

The implication of the hydra market shut down goes beyond sanctions. The dismantling of one of the dark web’s top criminal sites, hydra is a huge achievement for both law enforcement, cryptocurrency investigators and the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.

CONCLUSION

With the current sanctions situation in Russia and the just included sanctioned addresses from the Hydra darknet market, cryptocurrency businesses must be more aware of sanctions now than ever before.

Hence, our Certified Cryptocurrency Compliance Specialist (3CS) Course has been designed to educate and equip compliance officers. This would enable them to properly monitor sanctioned wallets and prevent cryptocurrency exchanges, money service businesses and virtual asset service providers from becoming victims.

To be part of the next 3CS May 2022 cohort, visit our website, www.adforensics.com to register.

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LEAD FACILITATOR – CRYPTOCURRENCY INTUITION

Onyekelu Chioma is a passionate and professional teacher with expertise on blockchain and cryptocurrency education. She is a renowned blockchain advocate in Africa with the belief that there are so many career opportunities to be leveraged on in the Blockchain Industry.

Chioma is the Head of Academic and Training, the Crypto Bootcamp Community, and a member of Stake holders in blockchain technology association of Nigeria (SiBAN).

Chioma’s passion for fourth industrial revolution technology has helped her hold key strategic positions in various private sectors, regulating the way for blockchain adoption in the continent of Africa.

As an experienced teacher, blockchain educator, and a cryptocurrency trading coach, she has trained a lot of students and assisted them in identifying their innate skills which enabled them to carve a niche so as to become experts in their chosen blockchain career.

She’s currently a Crypto Forensic Intern at A&D Forensics and undergoing her Masters studies in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency at University of Nicosia

LEAD FACILITATOR – CRYPTOCURRENCY INVESTIGATIONS

Adedeji is a Forensic Investigation Practitioner and CertifiedBlockchain/Cryptocurrency Forensic
Investigator (CFE, CCI, CCFI & Reactor Certified) with more than Fifteen years of experience across few banks within the Nigeria Financial Sector and educator in Corporate workplace settings, Deji is uniquely qualified and involved in forensics analysis of Financial Infractions, Cryptocurrency crimes and designing plans that works for Government, Regulators, Law enforcement. He was appointed by SEC Nigeria as Member Virtual Asset and Fintech Regulatory framework drafting Committee, He is a member of Global Digital Finance’s KYC/AML working group in France and a member of the Industry led Thinktank that worked on and came out with FATF cryptocurrency Travel rule InterMessaging Standard for Virtual Assets (IVMS101) to help combat money laundering and terrorism financing using cryptocurrencies around the globe.
His law enforcement training efforts on new money and cybercrime have seen him train many law enforcement agents in various countriesn i.e Nigeria Police, Nigeria Army CyberWarfare command, Zambia Financial Intelligence Unit, Zambia Central Bank and more.
He is Chainalysis Sole Africa Investigative Partner helping law enforcement investigate criminal organizations using cryptocurrency to conceal illiccit activities across Africa, he is also a training Partner for Blockchain Intelligence Group based out of Canada.

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