When Bitcoin is witnessing an astronomical increase in demand from both retail and institutional investors, White House Market, a major marketplace on the darknet, stopped taking payments in Bitcoin.
The move was forced by the blocking of Tor nodes by the darknet market’s third-party payment processor partner Morphtoken. The platform is now accepting only Monero, a popular privacy coin.
“Bitcoin payments are no longer accepted,” White House Market noted in a statement. “The 3rd party exchange API we used (Morphtoken) has suddenly decided to block access from Tor exit nodes and while this is trivial to circumvent we decided to respect their decision.”
“The Bitcoin workaround was supposed to be there just to help with transition to XMR and as we are concerned it’s done, therefore we are now Monero only, just as planned.”
The Booming Economy of Darknet Markets
White House Market became one of the largest and most active darknet markets after Empire Markets, another such top marketplace, which went offline last August.
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It is to be noted that Bitcoin is a preferred mode of payment in the darknet markets and also for criminals. An estimation by Bitfury revealed that around $1.4 billion worth of Bitcoins were sent to mixing services this year.
Though Bitcoin is not controlled by the government, its previous transactions can be traced, meaning any Bitcoin spent at any darknet marketplace can reveal its previous owner’s identity. Illegal service providers use the mixing services to wipe out the transactional history of Bitcoins.
On the other hand, Monero is designed to be anonymous and does not keep any record of previous transactions.
Meanwhile, authorities around the world are also trying to curb the booming darknet markets. Most recently, Finnish customs took down Sipulimarket, a major Finnish-language darknet marketplace, used by the drug dealers.