Quick Answer 🔍How many people use the dark web in 2023?
The dark web has 2.5 million daily active users.
The internet is full of hidden information. What you see in the surface web, which is the portion of the World Wide Web that is easily accessible to the general population, is just 4% of the total.
The majority of the information lies on the deep web, and deep within this space are the mysteries of the dark web.
Today, we will let you into the secrets of the internet.
In this article, you will find out how many people use the dark web and the corresponding activities popular in this hidden space.
How Many People Use the Dark Web in 2023?
The dark web has 2.5 million daily active users accessing underground sites with the Tor Network, also known as The Onion Router.
This network is open-source software, meaning its codes are available for public view, which enables anonymous communication on the internet.
It accounts for only 6% of the internet which it shares with the surface net and deep web.
Despite its relatively smaller compared to the deep web’s 90% market share, it consumes 75,000 terabytes of data.
It is home to nearly 3,000 hidden websites, 60% of which are engaged in some form of illegal activity.
The space saw record-breaking user growth in 2020 as mobility restrictions forced businesses to migrate transactions online.
It generated a cryptocurrency-adjusted revenue of $1.7 billion during the year.
Percentage of Dark Web Users per Country
More and more citizens are lured by the opportunities that lie in this hidden cyberspace.
Here is a list of top dark web users per country and their respective market shares:
- United States – 34.81%
- Russia – 11.46%
- Germany – 7.16%
- The Netherlands – 6.92%
- France – 3.29%
Dark Web Users by Country
Dark web users, translated in numbers and the most-common activities they engage in:
- United States – 831,911 American users use the dark web for the drug trade, fake documentation, user data
- Russia – 273,844 Russian users use it for Exploit Kits, data dumps, Cryptolocker/malware trading
- Germany – 171,009 German users use it for buying and selling Botnets, credit card, and debit card information, and fake documents
- The Netherlands – 165,281 daily Dutch users are on the dark web for trading narcotics, counterfeit items, and guns
- France – 78,714 French users are in the hidden cyberspace for pornography, trading stolen goods, and data dump
The Dark Web
The dark web is encrypted online content used to remain anonymous online.
It is a project of the US Department of Defense back in the 1990s to help spies communicate and roam around the internet without being tracked.
Accessing this part of the internet requires the use of some software, particularly the Tor Network, in which the domain ends in .onion instead of .com.
There are now 65,000 websites on the Tor Network and growing.
Contrary to the popular belief, the dark web is used for both legal and illegal purposes.
It is a host for legal information exchange for various fields requiring anonymity, particularly in journalism.
Around 10% of the total sites with the .onion domain facilitate communication in the form of chat rooms and forums.
The dark web protects users’ right to privacy and supports freedom of expression.
On the other hand, it also makes engagement in criminal activities easier and more accessible.
Internet Users per Country that Use Dark Web Technologies
Here are the top countries with internet users using anonymity technologies to gain access to the dark web:
- India – 26%
- Russia – 22%
- Brazil – 21%
- Indonesia – 20%
- Turkey – 16%
Dark Net Websites
There are at least 38 darknet websites that are most commonly illegal versions of online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
These shops sell different ranges of services namely illicit drugs, marijuana, fake documents and certifications, firearms, and the like.
Items on Sale in the Dark Web
Drug shops account for a big chunk of the total, generating $200 million in revenue during the start of the pandemic.
The dark web drug trade has grown along with the mass adoption of cryptocurrency.
Using crypto for payment transactions keeps identity anonymous since holders and receivers do not need to put their real personal information to transfer funds.
Fraud shops are also dominant players since they sell a variety of lucrative illicit money-making services.
These include selling bank account information and debit/credit card numbers, creating fake diplomas on Ivy League schools, and money laundering assistance.
Firearms shops account for 1% of the total market, with pistols accounting for 84% of the total listings.
Dark Web Price Index for Forged Items
In a short context, the majority of the items sold on the dark web are illegal in nature and have significantly lesser prices compared to their real market value.
Here are the most in-demand forged items and their prices:
- Forged EU Passport – $4,000
- Hacked Verified Coinbase Account – $610
- Android Malware with $1,000 Instances – $900
- Cloned Visa or Mastercard with PIN – $25
- Stolen Banking Login Credentials – $120
Top Cryptocurrencies Used in the Dark Web and Rate of Acceptance
Today, a growing number of cryptocurrencies emerge as accepted payment methods on the dark web.
Below is the list of cryptocurrencies commonly used for dark web transactions and their rate of acceptance:
- Litecoin – 30%
- Dash – 20%
- Bitcoin Cash – 13%
- Ethereum – 9%
- Monero – 6%
Despite Bitcoin still enjoying a 100% acceptance rate and thereby remaining the most-used dark web cryptocurrency, gone were the days that it is the only token available for trading in the hidden space.
The dark web has gained popularity over the years due to the increased demand for anonymity on internet transactions.
On the other hand, it is currently doing more bad than good as it is serving as a breeding ground for illicit activities.
We hope you enjoyed learning how many people use the dark web today. Remember, engaging in illegal activities is highly penalized by legal authorities.
Always be cautious about your online activities.