When Bitcoin (BTC) is seeing a significant increase in demand from both retail and institutional investors, White House Market, which is a major marketplace on the darknet, stopped taking payments in Bitcoin.
This move was forced by the blocking of Tor nodes by the darknet market’s third-party payment processor partner Morphtoken. The platform is currently accepting only Monero, that is 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 has been one of the largest and most active darknet markets following Empire Markets, another such top marketplace, which went offline last August.
It is to be noted that Bitcoin is a preferred way of payment in the darknet markets and also for criminals. An estimation by Bitfury revealed that around $1.4 billion worth of BTCs were sent to mixing services only in 2020.
Though Bitcoin is not controlled and supported by the government, its previous transactions can be traced, meaning any Bitcoin spent at any darknet platform can reveal its previous owner’s identity. Illegal service providers use the mixing services to clear the transactional history of spent Bitcoins.
On the other hand, Monero is built to be anonymous and does not keep any record of previous transactions.
Meanwhile, authorities are also trying to curb the booming darknet markets. Most recently, Finnish customs took down Sipulimarket, an important Finnish-language darknet marketplace, used by the drug dealers.