The phrase “Darknet” generally refers to the part of the internet that is not identified by search engines like Google which only skim the “surface web.” The Darknet is only a small part of the “Deep Web.” Search engines don’t index stuff like your personal email address, a brand’s gated sites, or your online banking account, hence it’s called the Deep Web.
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Users must use special software, such as the Tor Browser, to access sites on the Darknet since they are on an encrypted network that hides the identity of the persons administering the sites and services connecting to them.
It is important to note that just because a site or service operates over an encrypted, secret network does not always imply that it is unlawful or questionable. Journalists in oppressed nations, political whistleblowers, and activists, for example, use the Darknet to communicate online without leaving a digital trail or revealing their identities.
What did the Silk Road mean?
Silk Road was a well-known Darknet marketplace. It referred to itself as an “anonymous marketplace.” Users of Silk Road used it as a black market for all kinds of criminal activity (in most countries), such as purchasing and selling drugs, credit card data, and even firearms and other weapons. It was also the first Darknet black market of its form, and it opened the path for many more.
What is the link between Bitcoin and the Darknet?
In February 2011, the Silk Road illegal market was started. The site accepted Bitcoin as payment, symbolizing the “dark side” of cryptocurrencies. In this situation, the characteristics of bitcoins – anonymity, ease of cross-border transactions, and finality of settlement provided the ideal medium for criminals to undertake their unlawful operations on the site.
Within the next few months pursuing Silk Road’s establishment, the Bitcoin price went up from one dollar to over thirty dollars, leading to the growing awareness the cryptocurrency obtained as a result of media coverage of the Darknet marketplace.
Meanwhile, the US authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who shut down Silk Road in October 2013, have heightened their scrutiny as a result of these pricing trends. The Silk Road’s founder, Ross Ulbricht, who had been managing the website under the alias “Dread Pirate Roberts,” was captured and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release by a US federal court in Manhattan.
Most bitcoin supporters see the arrest of the Silk Road founder as a promising approach. Admittedly, the Bitcoin blockchain’s unchangeable ledger has greatly benefited law enforcement in tracking Silk Road’s unlawful activities. As a result, the arrest helped to disassociate Bitcoin from criminality.
Monero, a privacy coin, has emerged as the money of choice for making illegal transactions on the Darknet. Monero is a cryptocurrency that was developed in 2014 and has gained popularity because practically all transaction data, including sender and recipient digital addresses, as well as transaction amounts, are hidden. Cryptojackers use Monero to mine their own cryptocurrency by hacking into computers and stealing other people’s power supplies.
In accordance with this, regulatory bodies throughout the world are looking into cybercrime and the problem of privacy currencies. More strict user registration processes, as well as the possibility of asset freeze on crypto exchanges, are possible courses of action.
Moreover, the US government is focusing on building cutting-edge blockchain forensic analysis tools for tracing private coin transactions, while Japan has restricted Japanese exchanges from distributing private coins completely.
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