It seems as though this is the season for darknet markets to exit.
In the past, the darknet markets used to wait till they reached either a certain size or amassed a certain amount of cryptocurrency Bitcoins.
Then they would pull the plug and disappear with users’ money.
In the recent times, darknet markets have been scamming users soon after they make the first deposit or after managing to create a little bit of popularity.
The reason for the disappearance of darknet markets may be attributed to the prevailing market scenario.
The regulatory agencies and the enforcement agencies have been making use of different ways and means to track down and cut down such activities.
On the other hand, this could also be viewed as a ploy on the part of certain devious operators to make a quick buck.
Nobody can say for sure as to why some of the darknet markets have suddenly disappeared.
The latest darknet market that seems to involve in an exit scam is the East India Company.
This marketplace, which was hacked as well as exploited in August last year when it lost 30 Bitcoins, gained some amount of popularity after it implemented multisig and promoted itself well on Reddit claiming that it is an exit scam proof deep web marketplace.
In November, the company was ranked 14th in terms of popularity.
East India Company continued to enable regular escrow deposits as only a few numbers of its users opted for the multisig facility.
This was reported by a number of vendors.
As of now, the online black market is inaccessible.
It has been so for more than four days now.
The admin of East India Company has not sent any notifications as regards inaccessibility of their site so far.
However, reports on Reddit indicate that Bitcoins are being drained off from their addresses.
As such, a number of questions remain unanswered.
Is the darknet marketplace really gone? Have they exit scammed their users? Will they be back in couple of weeks’ time? It will become clear in the coming days.
For now, it can only be assumed that East India Company has disappeared just like all of the other darknet markets.
East India Company was a full-featured darknet marketplace exclusively for users in the European region.
It was constituted as a region specific Company in order to avoid any kind of confrontation with the authorities in the United States.
The Company also encouraged merchants and customers from Europe to use their site without any fear of the United States police as they were shutting down operations and taking away user balances.
East India Tea Company was even careful enough to disallow any business transactions with US citizens and those living within the country.
In addition, East India Company enforced specific regulations as regards what could be sold through their site with a view to provide a great deal of protection to the users.
They were not allowing even sale of weapons for self-defense or any kind of weapons, assassinations, viruses, germs, stolen credit cards, stolen identities or goods, fraudulent items, books, guides and digital goods.
They had also made it clear right from the beginning that the responsibilities and ownership would be decentralized or distributed through use of blockchain technology and that the profits of the Company would be invested in EFF, Erowid, Tor, etc.
In fact, they had taken the best features of Silk Road, Cloud 9, Evolution and other darknet markets for creating a modern and full-featured marketplace.
In spite of all these, the East India Company has got themselves entrenched in an exit scam just like other darknet markets such as Evolution and BlackBank.
After the closure of Silk Road in October 2013 and sentencing of its founder to a life term in prison, following a lengthy investigation, many darknet markets have set up operations.
However, the operations of a majority of them was shorter lived because of takedowns by law enforcement agencies, hacks and exit scams.
Some of them even voluntarily closed down their operations.
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