While the amount of cryptocurrency transactions related to the dark web has fallen below 1%, dark web markets are still doing profitable business.
Unfortunately for darknet users, the occurrence of exit scams is not limited to legitimate sectors. The most popular darknet marketplace in terms of traffic, Empire Market has been down since the 22nd of August.
Considering the frequent attacks which darknet markets are subject to, it's not unusual for a site to be down. For context, Empire Market has been paying a weekly fee between €8.000 and €12.000 to hackers for the website to stay online.
However, the fact the administrators are nowhere to be found suggests an exit scam. According to Darknetstats, a website monitoring the darknet, the website administrators could have taken off with an estimated 2638 Bitcoin
, or €25 million which were in escrow on the website.
Dark.fail, a darknet journalist says the darknet has experienced a period of trust but anticipates a rough year for users with frequent exit scams.