Empire Market, the largest crypto darknet marketplace, has abruptly shut down. No communication was issued from the admins of the marketplace who seem to have siphoned away with user funds amounting to around $30 million in BTC. From the looks of it, this appears to be a pretty massive exit scam. According to the latest update from an anonymous journalist, “DarkDotFail” who tracks darknet activities, Empire Market, the largest cryptocurrency accepting darknet marketplace, has allegedly pulled off an exit scammed.
Admins of the darknet marketplace siphoned away with user funds worth $30 million in BTC.
The owners of Empire Market allegedly made away with user Bitcoin funds worth $30 million. The darknet marketplace was launched in January 2018, after AlphaBay went down, but it grew exponentially to cater to over 1.3 million users. The report notes that Empire was launched in the memory of AlphaBay admin Alexandre Cazes who killed himself, and was not operating out of greed, but instead walking in AlphaBay’s footsteps. The darknet marketplace went offline on August 20, buckling under the pressure from consecutive DDoS attacks. Founder junior associates of the darknet marketplace made away with users’ bitcoin worth $30 million.
Empire, the largest darknet cryptomarket is gone. With no explanation from its admins and no announcement from law enforcement, this looks like a devastating exit scam.
The darknet was in a golden age of trust. Expect a rough year of exit scams ahead as trust is rediscovered.
— dark.fail (@DarkDotFail) August 25, 2020
Research shows a spike in the use of bitcoin on the darknet in 2020.
The blockchain analytics arm of Bitfury published a report revealing a significant spike in the use of bitcoin on the darknet in 2020. Bitfury recently released a report that looked at darknet entity interactions with cryptocurrency exchanges and other darknet entities throughout the first quarter of this year compared to darknet activity from the past three years. The report noted that bitcoin continues to be a financial tool for darknet entities.” Despite cryptocurrency exchanges and governments worldwide, enforcing more strict regulations around the crypto industry, darknet cash flows are still on the rise.