Do you remember when you used Tor browser for the first time? How did you know about it? Which websites did you visit?
– I was always worried about the Internet anonymity and safety, that is why I studied news and literature on this subject. I learned about .onion data routing in the early 2000s. Tor network seemed to be an excellent invention, which met my requirements. I started to use Tor to visit websites anonymously.
Why did you pick the name Hydra?
– The name of our project was supposed to be symbolic, we had a lot of thinking and discussion. Many people know Hydra as a huge monster from the myths of ancient Greece, which had a stunning regeneration ability, but very few people know that real hydras do exist. They are freshwater animals having a high regenerative capacity and it is officially proven that hydras do not get old and are practically immortal.
Can you imagine that immortality, craved by lots of people, is not in fairy tales, but in science. Our team was deeply impressed with this information, furthermore the word’s briefness, sonority and polysemy made “Hydra” be the perfect choice.
Drugs trafficking has changed greatly for the past years and gone almost completely to the darknet. Which pros and cons do you see?
– I see nothing but advantages. Deals safety is at the maximum level, which is ensured by three major anonymous aspects – anonymous mean of payment (cryptocurrency), anonymous delivery (dead drops) and anonymous communication (Tor network). Besides, customers have a wide choice of psychoactive substances and vendors, who are distinguished by their service, quality and specialization. When trading on the streets any dispute between a dealer and a client could result in a very unpleasant criminal conflict. And now all the deals are judged by Hydra staff. Moreover, vendors have an additional safety, they are behind the reinforced concrete wall of our website, which Russian legal enforces agencies cannot overcome.
Hydra still has no considerable competitors on Russian deep web. Will they show up in future? Can the success of your darknet marketplace be easily achieved?
– The information you have is not legit. Certainly there are competitors. And it is wonderful! After all competition is the most significant market engine. It makes us constantly improve Hydra’s functionality and patterns of work for both vendors and buyers. We try to do our work with high quality, that is why – we are the best!
Do you plan to implement any important changes? Maybe some new third-party projects?
– The project changes on a regular basis. Recently we launched a program HYDRA TEST – a branch intended for quality check of psychoactive substances sold on the market. Testing is carried out with the help of controlled purchases and subsequent content analysis. We have a lot of plans, but I cannot talk about all the details yet as we want to make a pleasant surprise for our users.
The market’s administration interferes in a shopping process only in case of conflict situations. Tell us please, which principles do moderators follow when solving disputes? How do you fight scammers?
– Actually the administration interferes not only in cases of conflict, but we do it properly and unnoticeably. Disputes are found to be the most common reason for buyers and dealers communication. There are plenty of them, unfound dead drops are sorted out every day. A system of dead drops has flows, but it is the most secure, furthermore drop points description always improves. 5-7 years ago vendors did not make photos of drop points, did not provide a clear description and coordinates. Nowadays the situation is much better, but disputes occur, it is impossible to get rid of them. We have a large number of moderators to deal with them. All major factors are investigated – a drop point, users’ reputation, how long ago a dead drop was placed and other circumstances. Scammers are suppressed right away – one can easily tell who is who according to feedbacks. And a vendor gets the money after purchase is received.
Is the state the main opponent to your activity or is it just a third-party from another reality?
– The state is the main regulator of our activity. It determines liability for drugs trafficking and what is legal and what is not. We are well-aware of enforces agencies methods and adapt to them, because the most important task in our job is to avoid criminal liability.
Do you believe in drugs legalization or at least decriminalization in Russia?
– You must be joking, let us stop dreaming – drugs will not be legalized or decriminalized in the nearest future, the country is not ready for it yet. Moreover, in Russia alcohol and tobacco are lobbied strongly and marijuana will not be let to the market. Unfortunately the country is changing not for the better, the government needs less thinking people as drunk cattle is easier to control.
Bitcoin is the basic mean of payment on your marketplace. Is it a good financial instrument for you? What future of cryptocurrencies do you see?
– Bitcoin changed the world and financial system in particular. This fact cannot be disputed. Cryptocurrencies capitalization has overcome $300 billion. They have become an important financial instrument and are considered by economy science, states, businessmen and investors. But for us it is only a mean of payment as well as QIWI. Cryptocurrencies have already brought future to our lives and I am afraid to imagine what happens next.
In your opinion, why do people use drugs?
– The answer is simple – it is a fast way to have fun, to change consciousness. We are all different, that is why people use different drugs. Some need to relax after a hard day’s work and have a rest, some want to be in shape at work, some enhance mind and explore parallel worlds while others want to make passionate love.
Do you have an ambitious aim apart from profit making?
In the 90s – early 2000s, drugs were marginal on the territory of the former USSR. We remember those horrible crack houses and people dying of low-quality dope. It should not be this way. People should enjoy taking drugs. Hydra aims at the creation of an honest and convenient market, advocacy and formation of the right culture of substances consumption.
How difficult it is to work at your post? Are you very tired?
Unfortunately, you get tired of any work, even of the one you like. The project – is my life. I am fully devoted to Hydra. I am responsible for buyers, vendors and my team. All users trust in me this way or another and I try to honor it every day.
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