Drug listings are growing fast on the darknet and are now estimated to have grown more than double since the closure of the original Silk Road in 2013. Agora Marketplace is one of the darknet sites that are quickly growing as one of the top contraband points with figures showing massive month on month growth, especially after Silk Road 2.0 was also brought down by the FBI in 2014.
A recent report by the Digital Citizens Alliance indicates that a total of 19,274 products are listed on Agora Marketplace, deeply buried in the darknet. Out of these, about 13,236 are purely drug listings. In the list, Agora Marketplace comes second to Evolution which has 14, 706 drug listings in total. The report further demonstrates that drug listings alongside other illicit activities account for some 78% of the total listings. The report was last updated in December 17, 2014.
One of the factors that contribute to the growing number of drug listings is the advantage of less danger. Both buyers and sellers consider these platforms safer compared to the streets. There is also a new breed of drug dealers who are keen to reduce the violence and intimidation that is normally associated with the drug world. The concept of Amazon-like reviews is also vital as it demonstrates the level of trust. A higher rating is a key for anyone who wants to succeed here. And since ratings help to weed out the bad guys while showcasing the genuine dealers, more people will be attracted to list their drugs on the darknet and focus on building their reputation for good business.
The fast rising popularity of Agora Marketplace, for instance, is largely due to the invite codes which give members the feeling of being part of some exclusive group where members are vetted. This popularity has attracted thousands of drug dealers as well as new customers.
Agora Marketplace bans certain items such as weapons of mass destruction, stolen property, assassin services, child pornography, murder videos, poison etc. This makes it a popular ground for people keen on selling illegal stuff like drugs which are banned by governments but considered “cool” by users.
While authorities continue to crackdown on the darknet, experts have observed that darknet sites like Agora Marketplace will sustain their growth as they adapt to new market dynamics. In the meantime drug listings will certainly maintain growth as the popularity increases.