Drugs and New Technologies Issue 8, May 2017

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Author: Amanda Roxburgh, Joe Van Buskirk, Lucinda Burns, Raimondo Bruno

Resource Type: Drugs and New Technologies (DNeT) Bulletins

This bulletin is the eighth in a series and provides analysis of trends over time in the availability and type of substances sold via the internet on the darknet.

The current bulletin reports for the time period July 2016 to December 2016.

Key findings

  • Eighteen marketplaces were actively monitored during the time period, three of which were first identified during this time.
  • Despite downtime across smaller markets, there was notable consistency in uptime, and vendor numbers recorded across larger markets.
  • Alphabay and Dream Market continued to be the largest two marketplaces at the end of the monitoring period, recording the largest number of unique vendors during this time.
  • Across these marketplaces, cannabis, pharmaceuticals, MDMA, cocaine and methamphetamine were the five most commonly sold substances, with NPS popularity slightly declining.
  • By December 2016, five of the eighteen marketplaces being monitored had closed, either as a result of suspected exit scams, or other reasons, reinforcing the volatility of these marketplaces.
  • Two NPS that appeared for the first time in the top 10 sold across the markets were U-47700 and FuranylFentanyl, both illicit opioid analgesics.