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Hydra Darknet Market Shutdown- A&D Forensics

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.


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.


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 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 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.


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, to register.

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Chioma Onyekelu is a highly skilled and accomplished professional in the field of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. She is a Certified Cryptocurrency Investigator and Crypto Compliance Specialist, as well as a Blockchain Forensic Specialist and a teacher. She is also a public speaker and her teachings include consultations and practical solutions for African Start-ups on the best and most cost-effective way to build with compliance in mind. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in these cutting-edge technologies, she is well-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of cryptocurrency-related crimes.

In her current role as a Blockchain Forensic Specialist at A&D Forensics, Chioma is responsible for tracing and investigating cryptocurrency-related crimes, as well as training law enforcement agents and compliance officers on the latest developments and best practices in the field. In addition, she is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Blockchain and Digital Currencies at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, further solidifying her expertise and understanding of the technology.

Chioma's dedication and passion for the field is evident in her work, and she is committed to staying at the forefront of developments in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to provide the best possible service to her clients. Her exceptional skills in educating and consulting make her a valuable asset to the industry and an authority in the field of Blockchain and Crypto Compliance.


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 countries 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.

Cryptocurrency Investigation Training

Learn how cryptocurrency related transactions, crimes are tracked,
traced and prosecuted.