Darknet market link provider claims its Bitcoin donors’ accounts were frozen

The administrator of dark.fail, a website that provides verified links to darknet markets, says exchanges are unfairly closing accounts that have donated bitcoins to the service following the introduction of Chainalysis’ transaction tagging system.

An administrator said in a tweet that two bitcoin contributors to the site had their accounts suspended by exchanges that recently launched a new KYT – or Know Your Transaction – blockchain monitoring service.

A WARNING: Two of my donors report that their wallet suspended their account after giving me bitcoins. I’m a journalist! I don’t commit crimes.

Last year, I argued against analyzing blockchain. My donation address was noted in the reply. This is pure evil. https://t.co/EzZK7sa5Lg

– dark.fail (@DarkDotFail) 9. February 2021

The administrator believes there is a connection between the closure of the accounts and his harsh and virulent criticism of Chainalysis, but it is possible that the accounts were simply flagged automatically because of the darknet links. If the site can be considered a gateway to the darknet, the bio in the dark.fail tweets classifies the account as such: An anonymous journalist explores Thor: the uncensored internet.

Dark.fail has long been critical of the KYT channel, which marks accounts as suspicious without the ability to appeal. In January 2020, a director accused a blockchain analytics company of enabling the theft of customer funds identified by KYT’s hidden processes as suspicious.

Privacy is a human right that is constantly violated by opaque companies like Chainalysis. Can anyone verify the purity of a bitcoin address from the data? No, their oversight of blockchain is only for governments and corporations. Use confidential documents for storage.

– dark.fail (@DarkDotFail) 9. February 2021

One of BTC’s recent fundraising addresses, 2. December 2020, was mentioned on the website’s homepage, contains about 40 transactions. The BTC donation option has since been removed from the site, which now only accepts donations in the form of Monero coins to protect personal information.

In case your donation to a journalist does not match what you want to see publicly on the blockchain: we have removed bitcoin as a donation option.https://t.co/SKNIXlRoex now only Monero to protect our donors from misinterpretation/pseudo analysis of the blockchain.

– dark.fail (@DarkDotFail) 31. January 2021

Chainalysis describes KYT as an automated real-time crypto-currency transaction monitoring and compliance solution designed to detect patterns that indicate risky activity. It is currently used by more than 150 companies in 40 different countries around the world. Canalise also helped lead the government investigation last month and was involved in the dismantling of the infamous ransomware network.

Although the status of dark.fail as an anonymous journalist is questionable, the reporting is done in an atmosphere where journalistic practices can be described as criminal activities. On Monday, a letter signed by the ACLU and other civil liberties groups called on the U.S. Department of Justice to drop the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange because his charges pose a serious threat to press freedom.

In May 2019, one of the oldest darknet-themed websites, DeepDotWeb, was seized by law enforcement after its administrators were arrested for conspiracy to launder money. Two administrators are suspected of taking millions in bribes for cryptocurrencies from darknet exchanges listed on their websites.

According to alexa.com statistics, dark.fail is one of the most popular link providers in the darknet market on the Internet, ranking 52,345 in the world for website traffic.

Cointelegraph has contacted Chainalysis for comment and will update this story with his response.

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