Recently, Bitcoin.com reported that Empire Market, a well-known Darknet marketplace, was suffering from some downtime spanning three days. This downtime was originally attributed to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, as this is commonplace on the Darknet. However, as the downtime continued, a new theory arose, with anonymous staff statements to confirm. It seems that Empire Market’s admins are attempting to run an exit scam and walk away with 2,638 BTC (over $30 Million).
Exit scams are common in Darknet marketplaces and occur when admins shut down a marketplace unannounced and walk away with the funds. As these marketplaces are built on trust, the loss of Empire Market due to a scam will have lasting effects on the surrounding Darknet marketplace economy.