Crypto Bans Ineffective at Stopping Darknet Drug Trade: EU Report

• Despite crypto bans, a recent EU report shows that the drug trade on the darknet remains resilient.
• Eight countries in Europe’s vicinity have banned crypto transactions, yet engagement with DNMs continues to grow in these countries.
• The EMCDDA report suggests strengthening identity checks for crypto trades instead of outright bans on crypto.

Crypto Bans and Darknet Drug Trade

A recent European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) report has examined the link between cryptocurrency and darknet markets (DNMs). These markets facilitate illegal drug trade and other illicit activities. The 54-page report found that banning cryptocurrencies is not particularly effective at preventing the use of DNMs in countries close to Europe.

Regulatory Efforts

Eight countries in the EU’s neighborhood have implemented crypto restrictions; however, this has not limited engagement with DNMs. Turkey, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Tunisia and Israel are among these nations who have imposed an outright ban but still saw growth in DNM revenue engagement. Furthermore, Turkey’s April 2021 ban on crypto payments did not affect DNM cryptocurrency payments to wallets within Turkey.

Alternative Solutions

The EMCDDA report revealed that outright bans are ineffective at combating darknet trading; instead it suggested strengthening identity checks for cryptocurrency trades as a better solution. This includes using KYC processes such as scans of government-issued identification documents or utility bills to verify users before they can make transactions with cryptocurrencies. By doing so, it would be easier to track down criminal activity involving digital currencies.

Impact of Crypto Regulations

Despite restrictions placed on digital currencies by various governments, the overall engagement with DNMs continues to grow across different regions globally; indicating that regulation may impact usage but does not necessarily prevent its adoption altogether. It is evident from this report that alternative solutions should be implemented alongside legislation in order to effectively crack down on illegal activities associated with cryptocurrencies such as money laundering or drug trafficking via dark web marketplaces like DNMs.


In conclusion, while regulations may help limit certain uses of cryptocurrency such as buying drugs online via dark web marketplaces, they are far from being effective enough to completely stop them altogether due to their decentralized nature and resilient user base that is willing to find ways around traditional restrictions put forward by governments or agencies like the EMCDDA. Thus alternative solutions need to be explored alongside regular legislation if authorities want any chance of successfully tackling illegal activities related to cryptocurrency usage worldwide