Identifying Factors that Influence the Use of Dark Web Cryptomarkets: Qualitative Interviews with Cryptomarket Users
MetadataShow full item record
Dark Web cryptomarkets represent a phenomenon in modern criminality and their study is of key importance to contemporary criminology. This study aims to identify factors that influence the use of cryptomarkets and to gain further insight into the opinions and experiences of their users. The aims of the study were achieved by identifying multiple cryptomarket users through snowball sampling and conducting a series of semi structured interviews. Users described quality, anonymity and harm reduction as major influencing factors of their cryptomarket use. Participants displayed the qualities of a rational consumer orientation and explained that their use of cryptomarkets was linked to social experience. Technological skill was identified as not being a barrier to the access and use of cryptomarkets for users as the majority of users in the study were instructed by a cryptomarket mentor. The conclusion of the research identifies that the modernisation and mirroring of legitimate website by cryptomarkets has an effect on the perceived legitimacy of the sites for the user and in turn acts as an influencer of their use. It is predicted the rapid expansion of cryptomarket populations in the near future, and that cryptomarkets pose a major challenge to UK drug policy.
Felstead, M. (2018). 'Identifying Factors that Influence the Use of Dark Web Cryptomarkets: Qualitative Interviews with Cryptomarket Users', The Plymouth Law & Criminal Justice Review, 10, p. 84-104.