2022 witnessed a fall in revenue with regard to previous year, in terms of darknet markets and fraud shops. It is believed that 2022’s total darknet market revenue stood at $1.5 billion compared to $3.1 billion in 2021, as stated by Chainalysis.
According to Chainalysis, four of the top five highest-earning darknet markets of 2022 were conventional and drug-focused. Reportedly, Hydra Market secured the top rank among darknet markets for 2022, despite facing OFAC-based sanctions during a joint US-German operation in April, 2022. Following Hydra Market, the next three highest-earning markets were Mega Darknet Market, Blacksprut Market, and OMG!OMG! Market.
On the basis of information by Chainalysis, Hydra’s shutdown caused a sector-wide decrease in darknet market revenues, with average daily revenue of all markets reaching $447,000 from $4.2 million. Sources suggest that drug markets’ total revenue showed signs of recovery in the second half of 2022. However, fraud shops’ collective revenue continued to stoop downwards. Brian Dumps, considered to be 2022’s biggest overall fraud shop, went through implications as its revenue became zero in October, 2022. Throughout 2022, experts discovered an inverse relationship between funds directed towards regular darknet markets and those sent to single vendor shops.
Moreover, Chainalysis noted that before Hydra Market’s discontinuation, it grabbed 93.3% of all economic value clocked in the 2022 darknet market ecosystem. After Hydra’s collapse, Blacksprut, OMG! OMG!, and Mega Darknet dominated the overall darknet markets’ revenue share, during separate phases.
(With insights from Chainalysis)