Empire Market, Popular Darknet Drugs Marketplace, Goes Offline Holding $30M in Crypto
Popular darknet marketplace for buying and selling drugs, Empire Market has been offline for three days now. The site had become one of the most trafficked illicit online marketplaces which offered fake documents like drivers’ licenses, passports, and off-the-shelf malware besides selling drugs.
Running a criminal marketplace typically leads to either being arrested by law enforcement or being an “exit scam,” and similar speculations have popped up among the users of Empire Market, which hasn’t been accessible for the last couple of days.
The vendors of such marketplaces usually store large amounts of money in their accounts for a large volume of transactions, and it is estimated Empire Market had “high, single-digit millions at least,” held in its escrow, said Mark Arena, chief executive officer of Intel 471 Inc., a cybersecurity firm that tracks darknet marketplaces.
Exit scams are also persistent in the dark web underworld, and one of Empire Market’s moderators also suspect the same who a few days earlier said that the site was offline due to a denial-of-service attack.
The administrators of Empire Market meanwhile haven't provided any updates that have users believe the site is gone for good.