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Regulators seize $25M in Bitcoin from Russian Darknet Market

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), Germany’s federal criminal police agency, said that Hydra, the world’s largest unlawful dark web market, had been formally shut down.

Authorities in Germany claim to have shut down one of the world’s largest darknet markets, Hydra Market, after seizing more than $25 million in bitcoin (BTC) from the marketplace.

According to a federal police statement issued on Tuesday, federal criminal police seized 543 BTC while “securing” the site’s servers.

Investigations by the federal government uncovered the names of 17 million clients and 19,000 businesses.

Apparently, the Hydra Market has the greatest illicit market turnover in the world, according to the statement. According to the police, a total of €1.23 billion ($1.35 billion) would be generated.

Because Hydra was deactivated in August 2021, the agency’s Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) has been collaborating with law enforcement authorities in the United States to conduct a thorough investigation that finally resulted in the deactivation of Hydra.

About Hydra

Hydra was established in 2015 in order to compete with RAMP, a now-defunct Russian dark web marketplace that was mostly known for its high-traffic drug market. 

Hydra quickly expanded its offerings to include counterfeit documents and stolen credit cards.

Hydra’s annual transactions reached just $9.40 million in 2016, but by the end of 2020, that amount is predicted to have increased to $1.37 billion, according to estimates. 

According to the BKA, the marketplace has more than 17 million customer accounts and more than 19,000 vendor accounts to its credit.