Home > Trends in the availability and type of drugs sold on the internet via cryptomarkets, May 2019 - May 2020.

Mathur, Anant and Mann, Nicola and Bruno, Raimondo and Barratt, Monica J and Peacock, Amy (2020) Trends in the availability and type of drugs sold on the internet via cryptomarkets, May 2019 - May 2020. Sydney: National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. Drug Trends Bulletin.

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PDF (Trends in cryptomarkets: May 2019 - May 2020)
PDF (Trends in cryptomarkets: January 2019 - January 2020) - Supplemental Material
PDF (Cryptomarkets - methods)

External website: https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/resource-analytics/t...

Drug Trends has identified, crawled (or ‘scraped’), extracted, categorised and analysed drug listings on cryptomarkets on a weekly basis since 1 February 2014. This bulletin series reports on trends in the availability and type of substances sold on the internet via cryptomarkets over the last 13 months (a new bulletin released typically every four months). The current bulletin focuses on analysis of listings from 1st May 2019 to 31st May 2020.

An accompanying public online interactive data visualisation is available, allowing viewers to interact with data collected over the total monitoring period.

We have supplemented the data visualisations with a Methods document outlining the background to this program of work and the methods underpinning data presented.

Key findings

  • From 1st May 2019 to 31st May 2020, 11 cryptomarkets were monitored; 5 of these markets closed during this period.
  • May 2020 saw a weekly average of 66,099 drug listings, with a 23% increase from 53,670 average weekly listings in April 2020.
  • In comparison to the last year, May 2020 had a 121% increase from 29,897 average weekly listings in May 2019. This reflects a general increase in listings since closure of a major marketplace (Dream Market) in March 2019.
  • Empire Market had the largest share of drug listings across all markets, hosting 35% of drug listings in the month of May 2020, followed by Dark Bay (27%).
  • Cannabis (30%), MDMA (13%), cocaine (8.5%), benzodiazepines (7.0%) and meth/amphetamines (6.2%) were the five drugs accounting for the greatest percentage of average listings during the May 2019 to May 2020 period.
  • The market share of cannabis declined from 30% in May 2019 to 25% in May 2020, while the market share of cocaine increased from 7.6% in May 2019 to 9.9% in May 2020.
Item Type
Publication Type
International, Report
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco), Cannabis, CNS depressants / Sedatives, CNS stimulants, Cocaine, Inhalents and solvents, Opioid, New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Prevention, Harm reduction, Crime prevention, Screening / Assessment
24 September 2020
Identification #
Drug Trends Bulletin
15 p.
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre
Place of Publication

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