One of the world’s largest darknet markets (DNM), Empire Market, allegedly exit scammed after the marketplace was taken offline for a number of days this week. DNM patrons are upset about Empire Market’s departure and customers say that $30 million in bitcoin held by the darknet’s admins has been stolen.
Three days ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Empire Market’s recent downtime, as our report had shown the DNM was offline for more than 36 hours. At the time, much of the blame was cast at a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. However, as time continued to unwind; customers, vendors, and DNM researchers started discussing “exit scam” theories more regularly.
An exit scam is when the moderators of a darknet marketplace suddenly shut the operation down with no warning, and users and vendor funds are stolen. For instance, at times vendors pay a deposit in order to list wares on specific DNMs and customers also keep funds in the DNMs wallets and in escrow systems during exchanges.
Exit scams in the past have allowed DNM…