German investigators shut down Hydra Market, an illegal platform mainly specializing in drugs and money laundering. According to the Central Office for Combating Cybercrime (ZIT) and Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Hydra Market was the largest darknet market in the world and had a turnover of $1.35 billion in 2020. Hydra also offered stolen documents, databases, and hacking services and included around 19,000 registered sellers and over 17 million customers.
The police seized 543 bitcoins from the profits of Hydra, which are worth approximately $25 million. “The platform and the criminal content have been seized by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office in Frankfurt am Main in the course of an international coordinated law enforcement operation,” reads the greeting page of Hydra. BKA added that it was challenging to track money obtained from illegal activities as Hydra used a Bitcoin Bank Mixer to obfuscate all cryptocurrency transactions. In the meantime, it is unknown if the German police made any arrests or identified Hydra’s team. Still, the seized equipment most likely contains evidence of Hydra sellers and clients, and it will lead to a significant number of charges.