Darknet markets are undergoing some radical changes. The sudden disappearance of the AlphaBay darknet market is not the only thing people need to be concerned about. It appears that Hansa, one of the darknet marketplaces around the world, has banned Fentanyl products from being sold. This drastic action against a particular type of drugs has been coming for quite some time now.
Fentanyl Has Been Outlawed on Hansa
The power vacuum left behind by AlphaBay will lead to some interesting competition in the dark market space. As we highlighted in a previous article, there are at least four different marketplaces trying to compete for the number one industry spot right now. Doing so is not all that easy, considering that AlphaBay had most of the traffic and a wide range of buyers and sellers. Indeed, it was one of the few “open” drug market places where anything could be sold for the right price.
One of those drugs was Fentanyl, which has garnered ire from the public. Although this is a very popular darknet drug, it poses significant health risks. There is currently an opioid epidemic in the US, and Fentanyl plays a large role in that. Seeing Hansa take such drastic action at a time when they are looking to expand their darknet presence is very surprising. However, it is good to see an emerging industry standard and to get rid of Fentanyl altogether.
The Fentanyl drug has been thoroughly documented and poses many health risks. For most people, Fentanyl is a painkiller on the same level as morphine. The average dose of Fentanyl is between 50 to 100 times stronger than a dose of morphine. It is not hard to see why it poses a big risk, as overdosing on this drug is a lot easier than most people may think.
Additionally, darknet markets specialize in distributing Fentanyl in the form of a small sheet which one puts under the tongue. This method is safer than directly injecting it into the bloodstream. However, there is no safe method of administering Fentanyl recreationally. Other variants of Fentanyl found across darknet marketplaces include small pills or patches. There is also a lollipop variant, but that is much harder to come by.
The bigger question is how this decision will affect Hansa’s position in the darknet marketplace hierarchy. Its operators wish to ensure their market remains one of the more successful. However, such success should not come at the cost of human lives. Allowing the trafficking of drugs such as Fentanyl is always a risk that will attract attention from law enforcement agencies. Sellers specializing in these drugs will need to find other places to sell, or just move on to more “acceptable” drugs.
The darknet marketplace industry is seeing some big changes. The disappearance of AlphaBay and the suicide of its alleged operator have cast a gloomy shadow over the industry. Now that Hansa is outlawing Fentanyl sales, more interesting things are bound to happen in the near future. It will be interesting to see whether Hansa will maintain its market position moving forward.