Use of Darknet markets for purchase drugs is expected to increase further in 2017 in line with multi-year trends.
Data gathered by the world’s largest substance review the Global Drug Survey, last published in 2016, showed an increase in Darknet use. The proportion of respondents using it - and therefore Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies - to purchase drugs rose to 6.7 percent from 4.5 percent in 2015.
“The darknet is booming with our three-year trends showing increased rates of people buying drugs on the darknet in virtually every country,” the organization’s 2016 results reported.
“Globally almost in one in 10 participants (9.3 percent) reported ever buying drug off the darknet with those reporting last year darknet purchase rising from 4.5 percent to 6.7 percent.”
It added regulatory drugs policy had a “significant influence” on the figures, with Portugal seeing sub-two percent usage while Sweden topped 20 percent.
“This year, five percent of respondents stated that they did not consume drugs prior to accessing them through darknet markets,” the report continued.
“Among recent drug users, people who used the darknet were younger, more likely to be male, more educated and less likely to be a regular clubber, than those who did not report using the darknet.”
Cryptocurrency commentator Tuur Demeester picked up on the figures in a recent tweet, noting the latest information for 2017 should be published shortly. According to the survey’s official website, this should be later in May.
2015: darknet markets (Bitcoin) used by +4 out of 10 drug users— Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) May 10, 2017
2016: darknet markets used by +6 out of 10
2017 results coming out soon... pic.twitter.com/HmmI4Uu8TX
This year’s survey received the participation of almost 150,000 people.
In February, Cointelegraph reported on the minimal prices being paid on the dark web for data such as stolen credit card information and social media and email passwords.