German authorities seized 543 BTC worth of cryptocurrency after Bitcoin shut down the servers of “the world’s largest illegal Darknet marketplace Hydra.”
German authorities shut down the server infrastructure of Hydra, a Russian darknet marketplace, after seizing more than $25 million in bitcoin.
Hydra Has Been Slain
On Tuesday, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office’s cybercrime unit and federal criminal police seized 543 BTC from the site’s servers. The server infrastructure of Hydra Market has been shut down by Germany’s federal police, according to a statement issued by the agency.
The seized bitcoins, worth a total of €23 million ($25.2 million), are now in the possession of Germany’s Federal Crime Police Office (BKA).
On the darknet marketplace, 17 million customers and 19,000 seller accounts were also discovered. According to the statement, Hydra Market had the highest volume of transactions among the world’s illegal marketplaces.
The market is expected to generate $1.35 billion in revenue for German authorities by 2020. There was a built-in bitcoin privacy mixer for the Russian-language marketplace, which helped keep the marketplace open for an extended period of time.
Hydra’s Gigantic Organization
Hydra was launched in December of last year to promote illegal narcotics trafficking. It also offered forged identification documents, hacking tools, and bitcoin money-laundering services for sale.
According to information provided by the US Department of Justice, the marketplace has earned millions of dollars in commissions from cryptocurrency sales since 2015. It has received approximately $5.2 billion in cryptocurrency since then.
Since RAMP’s demise in 2017, Hydra has surpassed it as the leading Russian-language darknet marketplace. To paraphrase Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco,
The Department of Justice will not tolerate the use of darknet markets and cryptocurrency to launder money and sell hacking tools and services.
Hydra’s homepage has been replaced by a banner announcing its seizure as of now