As Coronavirus takes over the world, darknet sites now demand crypto for COVID masks. Darknet is the dirty underbelly of the technological revolution. Unfortunately, cryptocurrencies are often associated with shady darknet businesses. Criminal elements love the anonymity factor of the cryptocurrencies, which comes handy to cover their tracks.
Elliptic's research team have found thousands of N95 masks, coronavirus "cures" and testing kits for sale on the dark web.
Learn more about their research in our new blog post https://t.co/hCcvo7Exi7 pic.twitter.com/XIEWSgqOo1
— elliptic (@elliptic) April 6, 2020
Authorities across the world have largely reigned in the use of Bitcoin in darknet markets. Drug dealers, illicit weapon shops, and illegal goods vendors no longer prefer BTC payments. However, the current Coronavirus pandemic has bought a new challenge. Unauthorized darknet retailers are asking crypto for COVID masks.
Pay crypto for COVID masks and remain discrete
The entire world is grappling with a shortage of N-95 masks. Many darknet retailers are exploiting this situation to sell their cache on the darknet. However, the use of Bitcoin for Coronavirus masks does sound strange. Interestingly, retailers offer much more than masks. There’s a whole assortment of healthcare equipment, protective gear, medical supplies, and even alleged cures for COVID-19.
The demand for N-95 masks has gone through the roof in the past few weeks. New darknet websites have sprung up overnight across Europe, the United States, the U.K., and Russia. As people fear for their lives, sales of survival gear are increasing exponentially. From packaged foods to toilet paper and protection equipment, people are stocking up essential items. The bleak lockdown outlook is further exacerbating the situation.
Buyers beware – Darknet COVID masks come with zero authenticity
A blockchain analysis company, Elliptic, has shed light on these darknet websites. Empty supermarket aisles are prompting people to look for alternative sources to purchase health equipment and medicinal supplies. When shoppers use crypto for COVID masks purchase, they undermine the government efforts to regulate the healthcare supplies in these grim times.
Official Elliptic statement states that opportunistic vendors are cashing in on the unfortunate healthcare crisis. The darknet retail price for standard masks is way higher than the real-world price. Buyers are coughing up as high as nine euros in some cases. The bigger concern is – who is supplying the merchandise to these illegal marketplaces. A famous darknet shop, ‘Recon,’ sells a wide range of medical equipment, masks, protective equipment, and healthcare supplies. Interestingly, shoppers can also buy a COVID-19 testing kit for just $90. However, it does not disclose the source of its products.