Cryptomarket Data Sprint

Activity: Participating in an event - typesOrganisation of and participation in conference

Jakob Johan Demant - Organizer

  • Sociologisk Institut
To celebrate a visit from Dr. James Martin, highly esteemed Australian scholar, expert on cryptomarkets and author of ”Drugs on the Dark Net”, we (Associate Professer Jakob Demant and Research Assistant Rasmus Munksgaard) are organizing a cryptomarket data sprint together with the Digital Social Science Lab. Cryptomarkets are virtual agoras built with similar functionality and organization as eBay or Amazon, with the main differences being that accessing them requires the use of special software (Tor) and their product selection. Vendors and buyers register, and for a commission they may purchase or vend a range of illicit goods such as narcotics, weapons and credit cards. Because of their resilience to law enforcement takedowns and organizational structure, wherein products and reviews thereof are publicly available, scholars have a unique possibility to study online drug markets in depth. For the data sprint students and researchers are encouraged to explore and analyze a dataset collected from one of the largest cryptomarkets to date, Agora Marketplace. The dataset is based on a freely available archive, courtesy of Gwern Branwen and collaborators. The archive has been scraped to produce a dataset of available items and reviews of these, which are a highly reliable proxy for sales. The dataset contains a variety of information such as product prices, categories, shipping country, seller, product descriptions and reviews from a virtual black market. So, implement your preferred algorithmn to detect fraudulent reviews, figure out what makes a buyer choose a vendor over another, build an model which detects when a vendor will scam you out of your hard earned bitcoin or whatever else you think would produce new knowledge. Gwern Branwen also has a number of excellent suggestions ( The workshop will be in English and there are no formal requirements in terms of skill or approach. Bring your coffee/tea, computer and your favorite statistical software. The workshop begins at 12:00 with a short introduction. Hereafter participants can suggest their own research questions and form groups to explore these for 4 hours. Afterwards each group has the opportunity to present their findings to the other participants and scholars in the field of cryptomarkets. If you have a particular research question of interest, feel free to post it in the event and recruit collaborators. For an excellent introduction on cryptomarkets we recommend: ”Everything you always wanted to know about drug cryptomarkets* (*but were afraid to ask)” available at: The diligent may also read the recent RAND report on the subject available here: . For the curious student has for years been the primary news outlet of the darkweb. Finally, we highly recommend ”Drugs on the Dark Net” by Dr. James Martin. Technical notes: The dataset will be available as a .csv file and should therefore be usable in most statistical software packages. The dataset has more than 50.000+ items and 500.000+ reviews, but random subsets are available if your computer is not fast enough.
14 Sep 2016


WorkshopCryptomarket Data Sprint
LocationSocial Science Lab, Gothersgade 140.
Internet address

ID: 165397103