The Economics Of The Dark Net

November 7, 2014 in Daily Bulletin

The “dark net” is a part of the internet that can only be accessed by those using software that conceals identities. Among its many uses is to allow users to purchase drugs and other illicit contraband online. The Economist took a look:

  • Sales on the dark net are growing, possibly as high as 20% every two months according to one measure.
  • Sellers usually list their products on Amazon like sites where they pay a fee to be listed, and then a commission of 3-6% on each sale. The goods are then usually dispatched via domestic mail and normally go undetected.
  • Like Amazon the sites have five star rating systems that allow buyers to purchase only from those with the most stellar reputations. This requires a high degree of professionalism from sellers.
  • Sellers are getting increasingly sophisticated with strategies such as loyalty discounts, two for one offers, and discounts during special days such as smoke weed day.
  • The sellers have also begun to act like corporations with mission statements and money back guarantees.
  • The dark net offers at least some benefits to society. By moving trades online it could reduce crime resulting from suspicious transactions taking place between distrusting parties in dark allies.

Read more about the business of selling credit card information online, the types of products that are most popular, why it’d be difficult to shut down the dark net, and much more here.

Source: The Economist