From Boom To Bust: The Intriguing Retirement Of Billion-Dollar Darknet Markets
Last updated : May 22, 2024

From Boom To Bust: The Intriguing Retirement Of Billion-Dollar Darknet Markets


Darknet markets, once thriving billion-dollar enterprises, are now facing an unexpected turn of events as they retire from the scene. The rise and fall of these illicit online marketplaces have captivated the attention of internet users worldwide. In this article, we delve into the intriguing journey of these darknet markets, exploring the factors that have led to their sudden decline and retirement. Join us as we unravel the mysteries behind their boom and subsequent bust, shedding light on the changing landscape of underground online trade.




Reasons Behind Darknet Market Closures: Retirement Over Scamming Customers


Darknet markets are hidden websites where people buy and sell illegal things like drugs and hacking tools. There are many of these markets, and they make a lot of money. Sometimes, the people who run these markets suddenly disappear, taking all the money that customers have paid. This is called an "exit scam." Other times, the police find the websites and shut them down. In some cases, they also arrest the people who run the markets. One famous example is the Silk Road, the best darknet market, which was closed by the FBI in 2013, and its founder was arrested.


Silk Road Dismantle

1. They Have Earned Sufficient Money


Operating a darknet market is undeniably challenging and stressful. Market operators must attract customers, address complaints, and maintain infrastructure while constantly fearing arrest. Lucrative as it may be, holding onto cryptocurrency gains can amplify financial success. However, there comes a time when monetary rewards alone are insufficient.

For instance, in the beginning of 2021, Joker's Stash, the top marketplace for stolen credit cards, decided to retire. Study revealed that the person running it might have retired as a billionaire in Bitcoin. This was possible because the site made over $400 million in sales, and the value of bitcoin was rising.