As we enter 2024, several key trends related to darknet markets stand out that could shape their development in the coming years:

Monero Dominance

Privacy-focused cryptocurrencies like Monero have continued to proliferate across darknet markets since 2022. Whereas Bitcoin was once the coin of choice on these anonymous networks, Monero—with its built-in protections against tracking and surveillance—has become the top darknet currency. Expect “Monero-only” darknet marketplaces to further dominate in 2024.

Centralization Risks

Paradoxically, as Monero decentralizes transactions, darknet markets themselves face centralization risks. Major markets like Dread hold huge sway, becoming de facto institutions of the dark web. If targeted, they could significantly disrupt surrounding ecosystems. There is a growing need for more decentralized, resilient infrastructure across darknet markets in 2024. Reexamining Monero’s Use Cases Monero adoption on the dark web often focuses predominantly on illegal use cases like buying drugs or weapons. But research suggests most cryptocrime involves ordinary people purchasing medicines, not contraband. As Monero use grows in 2024, experts call for less emphasis on darknet markets and more examination of Monero’s wider applications to accurately represent this privacy coin’s full user base.

Overall Growth

While hard statistics are scarce, darknet markets have continued gradual growth for years. And as cryptocurrencies themselves regularly reach new highs, they bring the darknet along with them. 2024 projections suggest privacy networks will continue advancing, not receding, but the opaqueness of these spaces makes specific forecasts difficult. Expect to see higher floors, even if not major spikes, across dark markets. In summary, 2024 may show the dark web’s resilience as well as its contradictions—harder to trace, but increasingly centralized; focused on illegal trade, but used more broadly. As the next phase of the internet takes shape, the interplay between privacy and regulation across these networks remains dynamic. The forecast is cloudy, but storms likely lie ahead.

Sarah Cone

By Sarah Cone

Sarah Shadow is a skilled journalist and writer with a keen eye for detail. She has spent the last 5 years specializing in news about darknet markets and activity within the Tor network. With her extensive knowledge and expertise, Sarah is able to uncover even the most hidden secrets of the digital underground. Despite her serious profession, Sarah has a playful side and enjoys solving puzzles and brain teasers in her free time. Sarah's twitter: