Drug dealers in UK earn more than their European counterparts and make huge profits from the global online drugs market. In a research by Rand Europe, UK drug dealers made £1.7m in online sales and grabbed a 16% share of the global online drugs market. The US has the largest market share with 35.9 per cent.
Commissioned by the Netherlands government, Rand Europe trawled the eight largest drug marketplaces on the dark web. Rand acknowledged that the most common drug sold on the dark web is cannabis, which accounts for 33 per cent of sales. It is followed by prescription medication such as Xanax, stimulants, ecstasy- type drugs and psychedelics.
The study noted that the transactions were dominated by drugs commonly only bought for recreational use at parties, with the likes of heroin and crack cocaine not popular online.
“A possible explanation for these differences between online and offline markets may be that crypto-market purchases typically require an element of planning, which may not suit the daily use of dependent users of, for instance, heroin,” the report said.
The online drug bazaar was pioneered by Silk Road, which was shut down in 2013. Users were able to use untraceable encryption programmes and Bitcoin to purchase a wide range of narcotics and other goods.