Russia's Largest Darknet Market Is Planning Its Own Initial Coin Offering

Francisco Memoria

In a bold move Hydra, reportedly Russia’s largest darknet market, has revealed it’s planning its own initial coin offering (ICO) to fund a global expansion.

According to an investment memorandum, first spotted by Russian news outlet Forklog, Hydra plans to raise $146 million through its ICO, which is set to start on December 16. Its tokens will be sold for $100 each, with the firm promising a 0.00333333% share of Hydra’s profit to those who purchase at least 100 tokens.

The investment memorandum notably doesn’t mention which blockchain Hydra is looking to issue the tokens on. Although the darknet market’s admins boast of proficiency in security and attack resilience, while also touting their “contact-free” trading method.

Hydra claims funds raised through the ICO would go to fund the development of a service called Eternos, which it describes as a darknet marketplace with an encrypted messaging platform and cryptocurrency exchange combined, that’ll also feature a Tor-like browser, AI-based dispute resolution, and an over-the-counter (OTC) marketplace.

The investment memorandum reads:

It will start a new era in the West. The scale of expansion is hard to imagine

The darknet market is looking to issue 1.47 million tokens, representing 49% of the project. It promises a total of $500 a month in dividends in BTC to token holders who have over 100 tokens. This means the admins expect Eternos to make over $15 million a month, estimating the figure “based on Hydra’s growth metrics.”

Exit Scam Rumors

Forklog has warned that the move could be in preparation for an exit scam. Taking customers’ funds and leaving wouldn’t be new for darknet markets, and raising millions through an ICO could see Hydra’s founders cash in before leaving.

Hydra reportedly opened back in 2015 and has been operating since, selling illegal goods like drugs and counterfeit documents just like other darknet markets. Russian investigative news outlet The Project estimates it has over 2.5 million accounts, with nearly 400,000 of these having made a purchase.

Hydra itself claims it has over three million users and sees over 100,000 deals get made on its platform on a daily basis. Purchases within the market are paid for in bitcoin, with The Project estimating over $1 billion have been spent on it since 2016.

The website, CoinDesk reports, has its own team of developers, security service, and drug counselors. It’s even looking to hire a chemist to test the quality of the drugs sold on its platform.

Featured image via Pexels.

Wikipedia Co-Founder Jimmy Wales Calls Crypto Integration 'Insane'

  • Jimmy Wales called integrating cryptocurrency onto Wikipedia "insane."
  • The co-founder has turned down multiple proposals to incentivize content contributors with digital assets. 

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales said that it would be “insane” to integrate blockchain or cryptocurrency into the encyclopedia platform. 

Speaking at the CoinGeek Conference, Wales claimed that he has yet to see a single practical use-case for crypto that would convince him to integrate the technology into Wikipedia. Wales went on to say that adding bitcoin or blockchain to the world’s largest online encyclopedia could prove detrimental to its vision and damage how the platform currently operates. 

He said, 

This is a really bad idea. It's an idea that doesn't actually work. If you take something that is a bad idea and put it on the blockchain, that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.

Wales made his comments opposite of Craig Wright, explaining that he has turned down several proposals for rewarding content contributors with digital currencies. The co-founder argued that Wikipedia benefits from volunteers and enthusiasts to curate content, as opposed to an incentivized structure that could be manipulated by companies. 

Creating a mechanism where you effectively authenticate that type of behavior ... isn't going to help with the quality of Wikipedia at all.

He concluded by saying that cryptocurrency could “seriously harm,” the platform, 

To say to them, you're going to have to pay or put money at risk in order to edit Wikipedia is completely insane.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com