Germany Shuts Down Russian Hydra Darknet Market; Seizes $25 Million in Bitcoin

Russian Hydra Darknet Market

Russian Hydra Darknet Market

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), on Tuesday announced the official takedown of Hydra, the world’s largest illegal dark web marketplace that has cumulatively facilitated over $5 billion in Bitcoin transactions to date.

“Bitcoins amounting to currently the equivalent of approximately €23 million were seized, which are attributed to the marketplace,”

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic confirmed that the seizure occurred on April 5, 2022, in a series of 88 transactions amounting to 543.3 BTC.

The agency attributed the shutdown of Hydra to an extensive investigation operation conducted by its Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) in partnership with U.S. law enforcement authorities since August 2021.

What is the Marianas Web?

Launched in 2015, Hydra was a Russian-language darknet marketplace that opened as a competitor to the now-defunct Russian Anonymous Marketplace (aka RAMP), primarily known for its high-traffic narcotics market before expanding its focus to peddling forged documents and stolen credit cards.

Hydra’s annual transaction volumes are estimated to have crossed $1.6 billion by the end of 2021, marking a staggering rise from a mere $6.6 million in 2016.

The dark webshop, which is believed to have had a turnover of $424.2 million for the first three months of 2022, also featured a Bitcoin Bank Mixer, which obfuscated all digital transactions made on the platform, thereby making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track the cryptocurrency trails.


Russian Hydra Darknet Market

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