Hundreds of Darknet Listings Are Selling Masks and PPE Products for Bitcoin
Medical equipment is being traded-in dark markets. A large number of PPE resources are sold for bitcoin and other digital assets. The blockchain forensics firm Elliptic recently published a report called “How Darknet Markets Are Exploiting the Coronavirus Pandemic,” which describes the situation in detail. Since the coronavirus outbreak started gaining traction on a global scale, PPE and certain types of medical equipment like masks and ventilators have been hard to come by. Elliptic’s report notes that DNM vendors have found opportunities by supplying PPE goods to buyers willing to travel the invisible web. Elliptic underlines that the PPE products being priced with extreme premiums, as the company explains that masks are a top item.
“Hundreds of listings have recently appeared on darknet markets for N95 respirator masks,” Elliptic’s report details. “Usually priced at less than $1 each, these masks have been in very short supply and their sale for non-medical use has been restricted. The listings shown offer N95s in bulk at around $1.75 per mask – a surprisingly low mark-up on retail prices. Compare this to the prices charged by vendors on legitimate marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay, where N95 masks have been listed for sale for upwards of $10 each.”