Evolution, a dark net drug dealing site that has risen to prominence since the shutdown of Silk Road, has apparently disappeared, taking with it as much as 43,083 bitcoins, worth over $12 million.
The site’s administrators, “Verto” and “Kimble”, have allegedly scammed the site’s users. The site’s bitcoin-based transactions had ostensibly been secured via escrow, which required at least two of three parties, one of them being the escrow, to sign off on transactions. However, such systems are only as reliable as the trustworthiness of their orchestrators.
Users had complained for several days prior over delayed or unprocessed bitcoin withdrawals.
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The site’s public relations manager, “NSWGreat”, said in the EvolutionMarket subreddit, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’ve been suspicious the past few days with withdrawals not working and admins usually are more forthcoming in explaining to me why they’re slow but they weren’t this time. Just kept giving me time-frames. I am so sorry, but Verto and Kimble have ****ed us all. I have over $20,000 in escrow myself from sales. I can’t ****ing believe it, absolute scum. I am giving this warning to you all as soon as I possibly could of. Confronted Kimble and Verto about it, they confirmed it and they’re doing it right now.”
Observers have been following the bitcoin trail, which has led to this bitcoin address. Large sums have been sent to and withdrawn from the address, totaling to the above figure.
The incident was blamed on the sharp drop in bitcoin prices earlier today, which saw upwards of over $5 million worth of bitcoin dumped on several exchanges within a 3-hour span.
Dark net marketplaces like the Agora, Nucleus and Evolution had increased their market share after emerging unharmed from Operation “Onymous”, a major crackdown last November, which saw seventeen arrests and hundreds of domains seized.