A new darknet marketplace similar to the infamous Silk Road is looking to raise $146 million through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
The Russia-based platform, called ‘Hydra’, has reportedly launched the ICO as a means to expand the platform globally, which it claims “will start a new era in the West” on a scale that is “hard to imagine”.
Parallels are already being drawn to the notorious Silk Road, another marketplace that once thrived on the dark web before its closure and the subsequent imprisonment of founder Ross Ulbricht.
The platform currently has around 2.5 million registered users, with roughly 400,000 of them having made at least one purchase.
Like the Silk Road, it is being used to facilitate the selling of drugs and other prohibited goods with counterfeit money and cryptocurrency.
Russian news sites have claimed Hydra is a multi-billion ruble business and will generate more revenue than oil and gas in the country, reports Micky.
The platform functions like an anonymous courier service. Upon purchasing an item, it is dropped off in a concealed, public place to be picked up by the buyer.
The ICO is currently live and the funds will be used to create a service known as ‘Eternos’, which will feature a privacy-focused browser, auto dispute resolution, a cryptocurrency exchange, an over-the-counter (OTC) service, and encrypted messaging.
However, Russian news site Forklog has warned potential users the illegal token offering could turn into a quick exit scam.
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