AlphaBay, known as one of the largest dark web markets and dubbed the New Silk Road, has been offline since Wednesday. Users see the money on AlphaBay’s service bitcoin wallets be withdrawn, so some of them assume the administrators have stolen them.
AlphaBay lets the users sell drugs and counterfeits, weapons and bomb making how-tos, stolen goods and many other things. Naturally, police would have a strong interest in shutting the site down, but there’s no evidence the servers have been seized.
It has been down several times for maintenance, but would always came back.
As The Verge note, exit scamming schemes, when a website goes online forever with administrators disappearing with customers’ funds, are common. They remind of the Outlaw market being shut down in May this year, and the Evolution stealing $12 million to be never up again.
Thus, with about 1.5 thousand bitcoin having been withdrawn from customer accounts, the scam seems to be at least a probable scenario. Some people express frustration on Reddit.
“If it’s an exit scam i’m gonna make a fundraising company to find and bomb them :)” a Reddit user states.
At the same time, an administrator of AlphaBay’s writes: “Will be back online soon. Servers under update.” Some users claim they believe AlphaBay and wait for the site continuing the service.
One of the Redditers underlines we can’t say definitely what’s going on with the marketplace: “Now I’ll admit I don’t know for sure what’s going on, and I am a bit nervous myself because if this is the end then I’ve lost a couple hundred dollars myself but think about it last year alphabay went down for about 4 days.”