The personal data of Star Xu, the founder of leading cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, has allegedly been for sale on the dark web for 0.00029 bitcoin, a sum worth about $1, as BTC is currently trading at little over $3,430.
According to Chinese news outlet Blockbeats, the personal data of the crypto exchange’s founder was found in an ad made by a vendor going by “darrenchen,” who claimed the data he was selling included information on OKCoin itself, on his family, and on his personal identification.
While it’s currently unclear whether anyone has paid the 0.00029 BTC to see Star Xu’s personal information, some have pointed out the sum is incredibly low for such information, which could mean the vendor is trying to make money scamming people on the dark web.
As crypto news outlet 8BTC pointed out, it isn’t uncommon to see people’s personal information for sale on the dark web. Back in August of last year, a hacker sold the information of over 130 million guests of the Huazhu Hotels Group, a leading Chinese hospitality chain, for 8 BTC ($56,000 at the time).
This type of data is sold on dark net markets in which vendors mostly list illicit goods and services, which include drugs, weapons, and other types of contraband. These are accessible using special software like the Tor browser.
Bitcoin’s Use On Darknet Markets Grew Last Year
The use of bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, has been on the rise in darknet markets, according to data from blockchain research firm Chainalysis. This, despite the existence of more anonymity-centric alternatives like monero (XMR) and zcash (ZEC).
As covered, Chainalysis found that despite the crypto bear market, underground marketplaces saw bitcoin transaction volumes of around $600 million last year, down $100 million when compared to 2017. The decrease was notably associated with the closure of large markets like AlphaBay and Hansa.
Per the firm, however, when one darknet market is closed another one appears to take its place. Kim Grauer, a senior economist at Chainlysis, told Reuters in an interview:
For someone who wants to buy something on a dark marketplace, the fact that bitcoin price is fluctuating doesn’t really matter.
Notably after taking down Hansa Dutch authorities set up a page on the darknet informing marketplace users they have their attention.