Van Buskirk, J and Bruno, RB and Dobbins, T and Breen, C and Burns, L and Naicker, S and Roxburgh, A, The recovery of online drug markets following law enforcement and other disruptions, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 173 pp. 159-162. ISSN 0376-8716 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Introduction: Online drug markets operating on the ‘darknet’ (‘cryptomarkets’) facilitate the trade of illicit substances at an international level. The present study assessed the longitudinal impact on cryptomarket trading oftwo major disruptions: a large international law enforcement operation, ‘Operation Onymous’; and the closure of the largest cryptomarket, Evolution.
Methods: Almost 1150 weekly snapshots of a total of 39 cryptomarkets were collected between October 2013 and November 2015. Data were collapsed by month and the number of unique vendor aliases operating across markets was assessed using interrupted time series regression.
Results: Following both Operation Onymous and the closure of Evolution, significant drops of 627 (p = 0.014) and 910 vendors (p < 0.001) were observed, respectively. However, neither disruption significantly affected the rate at which vendor numbers increased overall.
Conclusions: Operation Onymous and the closure of Evolution were associated with considerable, though temporary, reductions in the number of vendors operating across cryptomarkets. Vendor numbers, however, recovered at a constant rate. While these disruptions likely impacted cryptomarket trading at the time, these markets appear resilient to disruption long-term.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||Cryptomarkets; Darknet; Illicit drug trade; Law enforcement; New drug markets; Online drug markets|
|Research Division:||Medical and Health Sciences|
|Research Group:||Public Health and Health Services|
|Research Field:||Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified|
|Objective Group:||Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health)|
|Objective Field:||Substance Abuse|
|Author:||Bruno, RB (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)|
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