Coinfirm revealed that some users on the notorious Darkweb have been selling falsified vaccine certificates for COVID-19 and stolen doses of vaccines in exchange for a variety of cryptocurrencies. Per the report, one can buy 10 shots of the AstraZeneca product for $250 or its crypto equivalent.
BTC in Exchange for a Coronavirus Shot
Criminals see the anonymous nature of the Darkweb as an attractive marketplace where they can execute a variety of illegal deals.
The blockchain analytics company Coinfirm reported that such bad actors operate on that specific platform to sell falsified COVID-19 vaccine passports as well as stolen doses of vaccines. In exchange, they prefer to be paid in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Monero (XMR), and many more.
Coinfirm assumed that the criminals choose this payment method because of their anonymity and global popularity.
The blockchain company reported about one particular Darkweb vendor, under the name of “COVID-19 Vaccine Shop”, where buyers can find dozes of Pfizer-BionTech, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Interestingly, one can purchase even the Russian product Sputnik V.
Per the research, the majority of the criminals selling on the Darknet are based in the Russian Federation or in the USA. Coinfirm further announced that Eastern Europeans are the ones who buy the most those vaccines and falsified passports. The estimated price of most products is $250 per 10 doses or the equivalent in digital currencies.
Crypto Transactions on The Darknet
The cryptocurrency transfers on the Darkweb reached an ATH in 2020. As CryptoPotato reported, last year such transactions equaled $1.5 billion. However, the number of illegal transactions was greater in 2019 than in 2020 – 12 million vs. 9 million. This means that while customers have made fewer purchases this year, they have spent larger sums.
Monero, in its turn, is the most popular digital asset on the Darkweb. In the past, BTC was the most preferred for such transactions but over the years the focus shifted to assets like Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and especially Monero (XMR) – known for its enhanced privacy.