Empire Market, the largest cryptocurrency darknet market, abruptly shut down, having stolen user funds amounting to over $30 million in BTC.
The marketplace went offline on August 20, no notifications was issued from the marketplace admins. This appears to be a pretty massive exit scam, according to the latest update from an anonymous journalist, “DarkDotFail”.
“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,” Dark.fail tweeted. “The darknet was in a golden age of trust. Expect a rough year of exit scams ahead as trust is rediscovered.”
Empire Market 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 recent report from Bitfury, which specializes in manufacturing crypto mining infrastructure, has revealed a significant spike in the use of bitcoin on the darknet in 2020. The report highlighted that bitcoin remains the most demanded crypto for darknet entities.