Online anonymous marketplaces are a relatively recent technological development that enables sellers and buyers to transact online with far stronger anonymity guarantees than on traditional electronic commerce platforms. This has led certain individuals to engage in transactions of illicit or illegal goods.
The AlphaBay marketplace, which was in operation between December 2014 and July 2017, reportedly became the leading marketplace during that time. In this report, we present an analysis of sales on AlphaBay, with a focus on drug supply coming from the European Union. Keeping in mind the limitations inherent to such data collection, we found that, for the period and the marketplaces considered:
This document was prepared by the author for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) under contract CT.17.SAT.0063.1.0. It was commissioned to provide background information to inform and contribute to the drafting of the EMCDDA-Europol joint publication Drugs and the darknet: perspectives for enforcement, research and policy. While the author is professionally affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University, this work was performed as an independent consultant. This paper represents the position of the author, at the time of the writing, and not that of Carnegie Mellon University. Please note that the views, interpretations and conclusions set out in this publication are those of the author and are not necessarily those of the EMCDDA, or its partners, any EU Member State or any agency or institution of the European Union.