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The recovery of online drug markets following law enforcement and other disruptions

Van Buskirk, J, Bruno, RB ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X, Dobbins, T, Breen, C, Burns, L, Naicker, S and Roxburgh, A 2017 , 'The recovery of online drug markets following law enforcement and other disruptions' , Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 173 , pp. 159-162 , doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.004.

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Introduction: Online drug markets operating on the ‘darknet’ (‘cryptomarkets’) facilitate the trade of illicitsubstances at an international level. The present study assessed the longitudinal impact on cryptomarkettrading oftwo major disruptions: a large international law enforcement operation, ‘Operation Onymous’;and the closure of the largest cryptomarket, Evolution.Methods: Almost 1150 weekly snapshots of a total of 39 cryptomarkets were collected between October2013 and November 2015. Data were collapsed by month and the number of unique vendor aliasesoperating across markets was assessed using interrupted time series regression.Results: Following both Operation Onymous and the closure of Evolution, significant drops of 627(p = 0.014) and 910 vendors (p Conclusions: Operation Onymous and the closure of Evolution were associated with considerable, thoughtemporary, reductions in the number of vendors operating across cryptomarkets. Vendor numbers, however,recovered at a constant rate. While these disruptions likely impacted cryptomarket trading at thetime, these markets appear resilient to disruption long-term.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Van Buskirk, J and Bruno, RB and Dobbins, T and Breen, C and Burns, L and Naicker, S and Roxburgh, A
Keywords: Cryptomarkets; Darknet; Illicit drug trade; Law enforcement; New drug markets; Online drug markets
Journal or Publication Title: Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0376-8716
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.01.004
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V.

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