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Dark Net Drug Purchasing: Trust is the Key

August 17, 2017

The philosopher Rousseau once said that a life without privacy would be a life without sin.  This maxim also holds true for the Dark Net.  A recent study of purchasing patterns of drugs on the Dark Web revealed that purchasers are buy drugs based on the trust they have in the seller rather than any other factor found a research team based at Ohio State University.

 

The researchers collected data on all transactions in a six-month period involving opioid dealers on one large drug distribution market, which they called "Cryptomarket." This market exists on the darknet -- a largely hidden part of the web that can be accessed only through Tor, software that allows anonymous transactions and communication.All the information the researchers collected was available to anyone on Cryptomarket, including usernames for all buyers and sellers and evaluations that sellers and buyers give each other for every transaction. All sellers had reputation scores based on these evaluations, which the researchers used to measure trustworthiness.The study included 57 sellers and 706 buyers. The researchers found that there were 36 unique communities formed around prolific vendors. The largest community had 146 members.The overwhelming majority of buyers on Cryptomarket made only one purchase -- just 18 percent bought drugs two or more times. But the most enthusiastic buyers made more than 20 purchases during the six-month study.

 

The lead researcher Duxbury said it is hard to say why most users bought only once. Some may have just been experimenting, or had a bad experience. Some may be making more purchases, but not within the six months covered in this study.Once buyers found a seller they trusted, they didn't shop around much, the study found. Only 30 percent of those who bought more than once sought out new vendors.

 

To read a full review click here

 

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