Publication Details

Busting up Monopoly: Methods for Modern Darknet Marketplace Forensics

DOLEJŠKA Daniel, KOUTENSKÝ Michal, VESELÝ Vladimír and PLUSKAL Jan. Busting up Monopoly: Methods for Modern Darknet Marketplace Forensics. Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, vol. 46, no. 1, 2023, pp. 1-11. ISSN 2666-2817. Available from:
Czech title
Rozbití monopolu: metody moderní forenzní analýzy darknetových tržišť
journal article

dark market, illegal trade, market analytics, web scraping, crypto, cryptocurrency, dark marketplace, cryptomarket, Tor, overlay networks


Darknet marketplaces represent the most delinquent evolution step in distributing illicit goods such as drugs, steroids, firearms, warez, or leaked personal information.
On the one hand, law enforcement agencies try to catch vendors, buyers, and operators of darknet marketplaces.
On the other hand, the criminals mentioned above constantly stretch the limits of overlay networks, applied cryptography, and cryptocurrency pseudonymity.
This paper intends to provide relevant and up-to-date (for the year 2022) information about potential ways to deal with darknet marketplaces from the perspective of investigators.
This paper outlines methods (based on periodic web scraping) that may help sworn officers to gather evidence about darknet marketplace users. The potential is demonstrated in a real-life case study of the Monopoly Market.
For instance, suggested approaches seem capable: monitoring the demography and activities of darknet marketplace users, estimating the number of procurements and their value, and correlating user identities with their cryptocurrency addresses. The paper also provides an applicability analysis of proposed methods on the subset of currently trending darknet marketplaces.

Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation, vol. 46, no. 1, ISSN 2666-2817
Elsevier Science
EID Scopus
   author = "Daniel Dolej\v{s}ka and Michal Koutensk\'{y} and Vladim\'{i}r Vesel\'{y} and Jan Pluskal",
   title = "Busting up Monopoly: Methods for Modern Darknet Marketplace Forensics",
   pages = "1--11",
   journal = "Forensic Science International: Digital Investigation",
   volume = 46,
   number = 1,
   year = 2023,
   ISSN = "2666-2817",
   doi = "10.1016/j.fsidi.2023.301604",
   language = "english",
   url = ""
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