Hydra shut down by police with million-dollar Bitcoin seizure

The German police carried out a seizure and shutdown of Hydra. We are talking about one of the largest dark web marketplaces. Strangely, the operation was executed over a Russian-language darknet that included the seizure of $25 million Bitcoins.

A joint effort between the German Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) and the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) led to the seizure of Hydra’s servers. The same, according to Western authorities, is declared as a “Russian-language dark web platform”. It had been online since 2015, however, after the Russian-Ukrainian conflict it was intervened.

Hydra shut down by police with million-dollar Bitcoin seizure

Hydra and virtual confiscation

This marketplace had some 17 million customers and close to 20,000 seller accounts, according to confirmation from the authorities. One estimate noted that during 2020, site sales reached €1.23 billion. The police placed, as Hydra’s home page, a banner announcing the operation being carried out.

More than five billion Bitcoin transactions were counted by Hydra since its inception some seven years ago. Elliptic, a blockchain intelligence company, noted on its blog that the platform was selling counterfeit drugs, documents, data and digital services. It also targeted cryptoasset exchange and cash withdrawal services.

As detailed by Elliptic, most of the activities were focused on countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. More than $25 million in Bitcoins were seized; meanwhile, the transactions recorded are equivalent to 543.3 Bitcoin.