The most famous marketplace on the dark net, AlphaBay has been offline from July 4. Many users are looking for alternative underground marketplaces since the administrators of the website failed to issue any statement about the issue. AlphaBay is the place where the vendors can sell all kinds of goods including illegal ones like drugs, weapons, stolen financial credentials and much more. As the admins have not stated the actual cause of the issue, the users suspecting an “Exit scam.”
Exit Scam is when a seller or illicit marketplace decides to close down shop and make off with the funds of clients and customers. In March 2015, Evolution Marketplace – the largest underground marketplace at that time left with the resources of its users, drawing out an estimated 40,000 BTC worth approximately $12 million during that period.
The contact person for AlphaBay, Trappy released a post on Reddit on July 5 by stating that he is in touch with the administrators of the Deep web marketplace and he didn’t specify the reasons why the marketplace went down. He also warned the users about the dangers which can ensue when the marketplace went down. The dangers are like increased phishing activity in an attempt to steal the crypto currencies of misled buyers and sellers. He also added that AlphaBay is working to restore the website as soon as possible.
Some of the users weren’t satisfied with the Trappy’s post. One of the users named “Artificial93” claimed that he followed the trail of his bitcoin address on the marketplace, which pointed to a BTC wallet receiving the huge amount of cryptocurrency in the last few days while the marketplace was down. Some of the Dark Web users also spotted a large bitcoin transaction was conducted on July 5. Because of this, many users claim that it is an “Exit scam.”
XanaxBoss – the verified vendor, claims that the reason for the downtime is connected to a law enforcement in Quebec, Canada, where the authorities raided two separate locations in connection to a worldwide network with the sale of illegal products on the Dark Web.” He said the AlphaBay is going down because one of their servers was seized in Quebec which they are working to restore.
The authorities didn’t bust the market as a whole as they did for Silk Road since Alphabay is much bigger than Silk Road. Hence it would be logical to believe Alphabay is working through several servers in different parts of the world. It may one of the mirror servers of AlphaBay in Quebec was seized by the FBI. He further says that the alphabay works to secure the rest of their network and to replace the seized the Quebec server.
Because of the went down, the users are looking for the alternative marketplaces. In Reddit, there are many posts appears to be suggesting that Hansa Market is a perfect replacement for alphabay because of the high security it provides. They also said the Hansa admins are unlikely to conduct an exit scam because the money will not keep by Hansa. Because of the “high influx” of AlphaBay users joining Hansa market, the marketplace closed down the registrations for a while. In an update to the Reddit, AlphaBay_mod has advised the community to use the Dream Market since “it seems the only decent market for new users.”