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Dark web marketplace Monopoly Market has reportedly taken a stance against those trying to profit off of the COVID-19 outbreak, banning any vendor trying to take advantage of the pandemic.
According to The Independent, various sites on the dark web have seen a surge in listing selling materials for bitcoin claiming to be able to protect people from the disease. Monopoly Market’s admins have warned users they won’t be allowing these listings.
The market, which is relatively now and has little over 100 active vendors selling drugs ranging from cannabis to steroids for BTC or XMR, made the warning after receiving an influx of coronavirus-related listings from scammers. A forum post reads, “Any vendor caught flogging goods as a ‘cure’ to coronavirus will not only be permanently removed from this market but should be avoided like the Spanish flu.”
Monopoly Market is also barring users from selling items impacted by shortages, including face masks. The post adds users are not to “under any circumstances use COVID-19 as a marketing tool.” On dark net markets, fake coronavirus vaccines claiming to be “fully tested and confirmed” have been spotted in listings, going from $200 to $300 in BTC.
There are currently about 20 vaccines in development in labs throughout the world, but experts have warned it could take 18 months for one to meet regulatory tests and standards. The Independent notes these are unrelated to the listings, however, as one vaccine listed on the Agartha market, priced at $300 in bitcoin, contains a mix of nicotine, cocaine, and amphetamines.
Monopoly Market has also called on vendors to take precautions to avoid transmitting the virus to clients, “You should already be doing this but please wear a pair of gloves, old pair of reading glasses, and a face mask if available. Vendors in all conditions should be keeping a certain level of good hygiene.”
This is notably not the first time darknet users voluntarily halt the sale of dangerous or dubious products. In 2018, major marketplaces banned the sale of fentanyl after it was linked to hundreds of accidental overdoses.