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A qualititave look at darknet market competition mechanics

Either through intervention from the authorities, or due to the administrator's inability to keep the servers online, marketplaces in the Darknet tend to be more unstable than online marketplaces present on the Internet.

When such a Darknet market goes offline, both the vendors and consumers need to migrate to different platforms in order to continue their business. The method through which these alternative platforms attract these vendors and consumers is poorly researched, however, and so is the tracking of movement from one market to another.

This project will be conducted by means of anonymous surveys conducted among cryptomarket users.

This is a project conducted by the SECurity group of the Mathematics and Computer Science department of the Eindhoven University of Technology, (the Netherlands) under the supervision of Dr Luca Allodi (external website here). This project is authorized by the ethical review committee (IRB) of the TU/e to guarantee study participant's anonymity and data rights.

The goals of this project are as follows:

Research Question: How do darknet markets compete with one another in order to attract more users?

The overall research question is split into four different sub-questions, investigated in this project:

  1. What different types of competition mechanics do various darknet markets employ?
  2. What are the characteristics and general behaviour of darknet market users?
  3. Which criteria do Darknet market participants employ when deciding which market to join?
  4. Have the recent shocks to the darknet market infrastructure had an effect on users' behaviour?

To help answer these questions, a survey was created which can be accessed via Tor on this link. The survey is completely anonymous, asks for no personal information, and requires no JavaScript to fill in.

At the end of the project, the survey result will be published on this page.

Any questions you hae about the survey can be sent to this email address:

E-mail: r.wouters@student.tue.nl

PGP key:

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surveypage.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/22 14:52 by rwouters