Tor darknet markets are frequently used as a litmus test of illicit drug and malware trends, as well as criminal novelty and entrepreneurship more generally. Crime follows opportunity and the COVID-19 pandemic offers profiteering arising from shortages and fear.
The convergence of anonymous online illicit darknet markets (or cryptomarkets) and cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, has created an efficient retail platform for illicit markets, including potent new synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
This bulletin provides a snapshot of the sale and distribution of fentanyl and its analogues across several popular illicit darknet markets. Data collected daily from six darknet markets between 2 January and 23 February 2019 reveal the amount, types and physical forms of fentanyl available.