South Korean criminals use privacy crypto ‘DarkCoin’ for drug trades
Nine people from South Korea were arrested by the authorities on the charge of selling drugs for cryptocurrencies, as reported by Finance Magnates on December 25.
Cryptocurrencies have long been plagued with their earlier association in the illicit depths of the internet. During its initial phase, Bitcoin [BTC] was the currency-of-choice for criminals of the DeepWeb, because of its anonymity, decentrality, and untraceability.
On December 23, a statement was issued by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office that Korean criminals set up a website on the darknet to sell drugs. The nine criminals are all reported to be in their 20s and 30s, the authorities also arrested the owner of the website Shin.
Shin and his accomplices were selling drugs using the crypto “DarkCoin,” a cryptocurrency that provides increased transaction anonymity and privacy to their users. The accused made a whopping 100,000 won ($88,700) through drug trades in DarkCoin. Since DarkCoin was rebranded to Dash [DASH] in early 2015, the accused were likely to have used Dash or the privacy-centric token Monero [XMR] for the trades.
Websites that operate on the Darknet have special browsers like The Onion Router [TOR] which have several layers of encryption to avoid source-tracing. Given this increased secrecy, drug smuggling, arms deals, hitman-for-hire, human trafficking, and other illegal activities are pedaled on the darkweb.
The network operated by Shin was quite large, having 636 members on the community between March to November with drug sales occurring on 50 occasions. Shin’s website and community have since been shut by the South Korean authorities.
Earlier in the year, police in the United Kingdom (UK) enforced a crackdown on a drug dealer and money launderer and seized over 300 Bitcoins that were used to carry out anonymous transactions.
American authorities, in June, arrested 40 people for underground illegal activities and seized over $20 million in Bitcoin along with, cryptocurrency mining devices, drugs like MDA, LSD, and opioids, $3.6 million in dollar bills and gold bars and over 100 guns.
Image via Shutterstock
Follow us on Twitter