South Korean authorities apprehended nine people who were using cryptocurrency to sell narcotics, according to information from the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office. The dealers allegedly used a cryptocurrency called “DarkCoin” and are accused of growing cannabis, and selling hashish, LSD, and MDMA.
The website the drugs were sold on had 636 members from March-November and reportedly brokered 50 drug sales, the Korea Herald reported.
As of press time, details were not released on the identity of those arrested. Officials indicated the suspected person the website was registered to has the surname ‘Shin.’
First Time A Drug Trafficking Darknet Website Has Been Closed
The Korea Herald wrote it was "the first time in Korea an operator of a drug trafficking site on the darknet has been arrested and the website closed down by the prosecution.”
Authorities allegedly were able to find drug transactions after reviewing the suspect’s phones and computers. Prosecutors said the dealers were able to traffic between 8-10 million Korean won in drugs ($7,117-$8,897).
The Nexus Of The Dark Web And Crypto
Well-known cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee asserted in May how Bitcoin Private (BTCP) would eventually replace Monero as the currency of choice on the dark web due to its anonymous nature.
In the summer, CryptoGlobe reported on how authorities managed to track down a well-known dark web market vendor after analysing bitcoin transactions.
French national Gal Vallerius, who went by OxyMonster on Dream Market, was arrested in 2017 and pled guilty to a variety of charges relating to dark web drug sales.
He was identified as a cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone, and LSD vendor on the site.
Authorities were able to trace bitcoin transactions to wallets controlled by Valleruis after he configured his Dream Market tip jar to go straight to his bitcoin addresses. Other vendors on the platform usually funnel their jars through the platform’s payment system that mixes bitcoin transactions to keep them anonymous.