Dark Web Market Places Processed $500,000 in Bitcoin Transactions Daily in 2014

The Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular to use, as the Bitcoin community is constantly expanding and the mainstream population is also beginning to see the benefits of using the cryptocurrency to pay with, as well as sending funds with.

But despite the massive increase in mainstream transactions and companies accepting Bitcoins completely legal and regulated, the amount of Bitcoins processed in the “regular” markets are not close to the same numbers as the underground markets process.

In 2013 we saw the biggest Dark Web market place, known as Silk Road, being shut down by the FBI. The feds had been infiltrating the organization over a longer period of time and arrested the alleged operator and founder of Silk Road.

While the FBI probably hoped for Silk Road to be one of the last market places to exist in the Dark Web, tons of sites continues to pop up and operate despite many being shut down all the time.

Now some official numbers have been released which shows that the Dark Web market places averaged $500,000 in Bitcoin transactions a day in 2014, ranging from $300,000 to $650,000 a day.

But despite the big numbers, it is still such a small portion of the overall illegal market transactions that it doesn’t make much of a difference – except for the Bitcoin. The Bitcoin has been associated with many shady things in the past and the people working towards creating a better picture of the cryptocurrency are not happy about this path continuing.

The Bitcoins anonymous nature makes it a very good way to sell drugs, weapons and other things illegally, but the sellers on average doesn’t really make any money, which in turn may cause them to leave it all together in the long run.

“About 70 percent of all sellers never managed to sell more than $1,000 worth of products. Another 18% of sellers were observed to sell between $1,000 and $10,000 but only about 2% of vendors managed to sell more than $100,000. In fact, 35 sellers were observed selling over $1,000,000 worth of product and the top 1% most successful vendors were responsible for 51.5% of all the volume transacted.” The report issued reads.

“Psychedelics, opioids, and prescription drugs are a little less than 10% of market demand each, although starting in November 2014, prescription drugs have gained significant traction—perhaps making anonymous marketplaces a viable alternative to unlicensed online pharmacies,” The report further states.

This numbers shows that more sellers are trying their luck on the Dark Web market places, but that very few actually succeeds in making money, which in the long run will drive people away from the market places and only a few sites will be left with the same “big guns” selling their stuff.

While not ideal for the Bitcoin as a whole, given the nature of the purchases being made, there’s still a positive aspect to take out of the story as it shows that the Bitcoin can work as an independent currency and handle large amounts of transactions with little to no fee and a high security level.

Once the Bitcoin distances itself from the illegal market sales and gains ground in the mainstream environment, then we will be able to see why it is the currency of the future.

LOT Airlines and Lawyer.com Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

It’s exciting times for the Bitcoin payment industry these days, as we are seeing a vast amount of online companies, big and small, starting to accept the cryptocurrency as a mean of paying for their goods and services.

Poland’s state-owned air carrier LOT Airlines announced earlier this week that they will not start to accept Bitcoin payments for plane tickets. While not being the first, as Air Baltic started accepting Bitcoins in 2014, they are still one of the first and one of the biggest to do so.

Customers who wishes to purchase tickets using Bitcoins will be able to do so through the website and through the mobile application. The price will be shown in fiat-currency and then converted into Bitcoins at the rate currently available at the time of the purchase.

LOT Airlines have teamed up with BitPay to be able to accept Bitcoin payments and BitPay will be responsible for converting the fiat-currency price into Bitcoins and also pay LOT Airlines in a fiat-currency for all transactions made with Bitcoins.

“The new payment method is addressed to everybody who has a Bitcoin wallet, and is an active user of this currency when doing the shopping online. Bitcoins can be used to pay for any LOT flight on the majority of the markets where the airline sells tickets.” A statement from LOT Airlines said.

“It’s just a matter of time when payments with the online currency will become as popular as using credit cards today. We notice this potential, which is why we are one of the first airlines in the world to give its passengers the possibility of paying with Bitcoins as early as today.” The statement further read.

“We go for innovations thanks to which [the customers’] journey is even more comfortable and pleasant not only on board, but also much earlier – at the stage of buying the ticket. Many of them do the shopping online, including plane tickets.” Jiri Marek, Sales and Distribution Executive Director for LOT said in a press release.

Lawyer.com also announced this week that they have begun accepting Bitcoin payments for their services. The company basically offers people the chance to find a lawyer online and lawyers pays a monthly subscription fee to be on the website.

The site has been on the market for the past six years and sees the potential in accepting Bitcoin payments. The service costs between $99-$299 a month to be a member of, but lawyers paying with Bitcoins will be subject to a 10% discount.

“Bitcoin transactions reduce our costs, improve transaction speed and provide full billing transparency. In return, we can offer our services at significant savings. We’re not paying transaction fees, there are no bad credits, and we can manage our own bad debts.” Chief Executive Officer at Lawyer, Gerry Gorman said in a press release.

The site have been testing Bitcoin payments for a months time before deciding to integrate it into their payments platform. They have teamed up with Stripe to be able to accept Bitcoin payments and it works in the same way as explained with BitPay, where customers price will be converted to Bitcoins at the current rate.

“We have an emerging group of very tech-savvy lawyers. We think bitcoin could appeal to them in building their practices. Bitcoin is going to be mainstream five years from now. We’d like to be the leader today. We’ve known about and understood bitcoin, we wanted to achieve some sort of critical mass in the marketplace.” Gorman added.