On an average day, crypto-drug transactions worth more than $8,000 are made in Georgia.
Similarly, on an average day, illicit substances with a value of over $35,000 are placed in secret locations around the country’s major cities of Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi, reads the report 'Online markets for illicit drugs in Georgia'.
This level of trade is substantial in international comparison”, reads the report.
The report says that average daily revenue halved following the outbreak of Covid-19 in late February 2020 in Georgia, falling from a pre-crisis baseline of around $15,000 a day to $7,500 over March to August.
Most activity relates to cannabis, cocaine and MDMA, with cannabis sales alone comprising around 56 per cent of recorded transactions. Whilst some listings offer drugs quantities likely intended for resale (notably MDMA tablets and 25i-NBOMe), most are for quantities likely intended for personal use. Cocaine accounts for nearly a quarter of revenue and is the second largest substance in terms of transactions. This finding stands in contrast to recent studies which suggest cocaine use in Georgia to be limited", reads the report.
How large is the crypto drug market in Georgia? In a normal month, about USD 250,000 is spent on illicit drugs through a single online platform in Georgia writes @goodrich_ian in our latest issue of the CRRC Policy Bulletin: https://t.co/stxkvS44aP pic.twitter.com/HLtWN0QoRk— CRRC Georgia (@crrcgeorgia) September 29, 2020
The report also says that MDMA tablets (ecstasy) on Matanga are offered at 'dangerously high dosages'.
The report is made by Caucasus Research Resource Center-Georgia, a non-governmental, non-profit research organisation, which collects, analyses and publishes policy relevant data on social, economic and political trends in Georgia.
It includes the findings of a six-month study into online markets for illicit drugs in Georgia.
It examines Matanga, a cryptomarket platform that facilitates the anonymous sale of drugs in Georgia and countries of the CIS. It finds a diverse and active marketplace with 16 unique substances listed for sale in the country, generating nearly $1.6 million in revenue over a 194-day period.