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A Data-Driven Look At Dark Web Marketplaces

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dark web markets

A Data-Driven Look At Dark Web Marketplaces

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

In 2018, ex-Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, made headlines after predicting the internet would eventually split into two halves – one dominated by China and the other by the United States.

While that vision of the future may come to pass, the internet already has a noteworthy division (coincidentally related to Google): indexed and non-indexed. The indexed internet is what we’re all familiar with, everything from gif-laden Geocities websites to the webpage you’re reading this on.

Parts of the non-indexed portion of the internet may be familiar as well. This includes services like online banking, or content behind paywalls or sign-in forms. Most of this part of the internet – referred to as the Deep Web – is non-indexed.

surface deep dark web diagram

Dipping Below the Surface

Beyond easily accessible areas of the internet, lies the Dark Web, which is primarily accessed using specific software such as Tor or I2P. Practically speaking, connection requests via TOR are re-routed several times before reaching their destination. This allows people to maintain their anonymity while accessing dark web content.

The Dark Web lives in the public consciousness as a digital Wild West; a place where every vice can be explored and procured within the vacuum of lawlessness. There’s truth to the reputation, as dark net markets sell everything from illegal drugs to databases of stolen personal information. Today’s graphic, via Europe’s drug monitoring organization, EMCDDA, gives a detailed overview of dark web marketplaces going all the back to 2010.

One of the first and most well known of these markets was The Silk Road, which opened at the beginning of 2011. Around the time of its first anniversary, the market reached an estimated $22 million in annual sales.

The Short Shelf Life of Markets

Not surprisingly, governments are not thrilled at the idea of unregulated (and untaxed) markets operating in the dark web. Law enforcement and three-letter agencies have thrown considerable efforts into shutting them down, though with mixed results.

A raid on The Silk Road in 2013 did end the reign of the popular marketplace, but it had the effect of spawning dozens of new markets to help fill the void. That said, only a few end up lasting more than a year and the average lifespan of a dark web market is just eight months.

Some markets close down, or were simply a scam to begin with, but larger markets tend to fall victim to raids by law enforcement. High profile examples include Operation Onymous (2014), and Operations Bayonet and GraveSec (2017), which shut down the popular markets AlphaBay and Hansa. To give an idea of scale, Hansa reportedly offered more than 24,000 drug product listings at its height.

According to EMCDDA’s report, there are currently nine active markets. If history is any guide though, many of them will be gone by year’s end.

While giants like Google and Amazon may rule the indexed web, the commercial landscape below the surface is shifting constantly.

Update: This article has been revised to better reflect the source of the data.

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Nvidia is Worth More Than All of These Companies Combined

Gain a unique perspective on the market cap of Nvidia in this simple graphic.

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Putting the Market Cap of Nvidia Into Perspective

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Nvidia’s massive rise in the AI era has been well-documented, but did you know that it’s currently the world’s third most valuable company?

To put the massive market cap of Nvidia into perspective, we’ve put it side by side with a collection of other major U.S. tech companies.

All figures were sourced from Companiesmarketcap.com, and are as of May 23, 2024.


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Data and Takeaways

All of the numbers we used to create this graphic are included in the table below.

CompanyMarket Cap
(as of May 23, 2024)
Nvidia$2.5T
Meta$1.2T
Tesla$553B
Netflix$272B
AMD$257B
Intel$128B
IBM$157B

These figures are even more impressive when you consider that at the beginning of 2020, Nvidia was valued at a relatively tiny $145 billion.

Since then, the company has greatly surpassed other American chipmakers like Intel and AMD. This growth is due to several key factors:

  • Expansion into AI and data centers: Nvidia’s chips are highly effective for AI training, making them essential for companies engaged in machine learning and generative AI
  • Advancements in AI software: Nvidia has developed AI software platforms, such as CUDA-X and TensorRT, which are widely used by researchers.
  • Strong financial performance: Nvidia has consistently delivered strong financial results in recent years, with substantial revenue growth.

Closing in on Apple

With Nvidia’s latest stock surge (up 13.5% over the past five days ending May 24, 2024), the company could possibly overtake Apple to become the world’s second most valuable company.

Microsoft, another major player in AI, holds the #1 spot with a market cap of $3.2 trillion.

See More Visuals on Nvidia

If you enjoyed this graphic, be sure to check out this graphic that breaks down Nvidia’s revenue by product line, from 2019 to 2024.


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