JUNE 28, 2021JULIO BARRAGANANALYSIS, DARK MARKETS, RANSOMWARE Launched in 2015, Hydra is the most prominent Russian darknet market and likely the largest darknet market in the world. Hydra is Russian in origin and serves the following countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Moldova. Hydra became the top Russian darknet market in 2017, after the closure of RAMP (Russian Anonymous Marketplace). Originally, there were several other Russian markets.

Hydra Market has listed RAMP, IKLAD, BLACKMARKET, SOLARIS, and RuSilk as previous competitors. Hydra launched an aggressive advertisement campaign on YouTube as well as other websites and reportedly conducted DDoS attacks on its competition (unverified). In doing so, Hydra has squashed its competition and attracted millions of users. Hydra has stated that it will continue “…to suppress any resistance that could have a negative impact on the future of our projects”.

How Purchases Work The way most darknet markets operate is that physical goods are shipped from the seller to the buyer through the post. Hydra works differently. Sellers create “kлад” or “treasures”, which is a package of an illicit good hidden in a physical location. The packages will be buried (“прикоп”), magnetized to something (“магнит”), or otherwise hidden in an inconspicuous location (“тайник”). There are two types of purchases: instant orders and pre-orders.

A buyer can purchase an instant order and will immediately receive the coordinates or address of the “kлад”, where the package is hidden. With a pre-order, the buyer and seller will agree on the details of the purchase, such as the amount, and the seller will then hide the product and send the buyer the location. The buyer then goes to the location to pick up the purchase. Neither buyer, seller nor courier ever cross paths in person.

https://hydraurzxpne4af.com Market Supply Chains Supply chains on Hydra generally include multiple “treasures”. Suppliers—who import drugs from outside Russia—and chemists and growers—who produce drugs locally—create “master treasures” that are large stashes of drugs. These “master treasures” are then picked up by “warehousemen” who then distribute the goods to smaller couriers. These couriers create the final “treasures” that are picked up by the buyers.

An important position for a shop on Hydra is the operator. The operator coordinates the entire supply chain and resolves issues with clients. Employees of a shop on Hydra always have a plan for whenever someone in the supply chain is caught and arrested. Info obtained from The Project, who interviewed an operator of a supply chain on Hydra. Roulette Feature Another unique aspect of Hydra is its roulette feature. Presumably, the way it works is if a buyer wants to purchase a product, they can risk a smaller amount of money (rather than pay full price) to have a random chance at either wining and receiving the product for the amount risked or losing and the market keeps the amount of money risked.

In a way, it is a gambling feature integrated directly into the purchase of goods on the market.

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