The largest market on the dark web still offline. Fear of the risk of Exit Scam

The largest dark web market still offline. Risk Fear of Exit Scam - dark web 1024x576

A high-end darknet site used to sell illegal goods has been offline for several days, and fears are growing that administrators may have fled with around $ 30 million in cryptocurrency.

Empire Market offline. Accident or Exit Scam?

According to a Tuesday report from Darknetstats, Empire Market, the dark web's most popular marketplace for site traffic, was suddenly taken offline on August 22. John Marsh, a representative of Darknetstats, recently told the media that speculation is growing about the whereabouts of the site administrators, who some believe have escaped with an estimate of 2.638 bitcoins ($ 30,2 million - here the quotation in real time).

However, Marsh said the figure is uncertain as no large movements of funds have been identified. There is a lot of speculation, but nothing "concrete" about what happened to the site, he said.

An Empire Market chief moderator known as “Se7en” confirmed that the site was not featured on the Dread darknet forum late Tuesday evening. Se7en suggested that the incident cannot be framed as an exit scam as there were no signs such as disabling withdrawals or accepting bitcoin for a period of weeks.

Marsh, however, disputed these claims and said his news site believes it is an "unplanned exit scam," as bitcoin withdrawals were working until the day the market went offline.

A golden age for the dark web

The dark web refers to certain sections on the internet that are only accessible with specific software and use unique communication protocols to provide access. According to a tweet from the anonymous darknet journalist "", the darknet has had a "golden age in terms of trust", but darknet users should "expect a tough year of exit scams." added that while it's easy to get a good idea when creating a darknet market, by the time thousands of bitcoins begin to circulate "greed can defeat all good intentions."

One theory raised by Se7en is that Empire Market has been the subject of a DDoS (Direct Denial of Service) attack still in progress and that the site's supervisors had just decided to "get it over with."

The site has suffered several such attacks since it went online in 2018 and has been extorted from $ 10.000 to $ 15.000 a week to keep the site running, according to Marsh.

What is happening with Empire Market teaches how the use of platforms of this kind is very risky, as shown by several similar events that have occurred over time. All the more so if such platforms that favor illegal activities are also centralized.