(Update: Hansa Closed Down – Here is the story https://darkwebnews.com/news/hansa-market-shut-dutch-authorities/)
To the shock of many darknet market customers and vendors, Hansa Market temporarily closed its doors for new registrants, terming the move a temporary measure to deal with the increasing number of AlphaBay “refugees” after the popular market was seized by law enforcement last week.
In the announcement on Hansa’s official subreddit, it was clear that this an action to deal with technical issues occasioned by the influx of new AlphaBay customers who had channeled their activities to Hansa Market and other popular alternatives.
But this week, Hansa reopened its registration portal to welcome former AlphaBay users to the site.
The Genesis of the Problem
In early July, the dark web’s ever-popular AlphaBay Market mysteriously went offline.
For a few weeks, it remained closed with no valid explanation as to what might have happened.
Being the leader among darknet markets, the AlphaBay outage created a big supply gap for customers who had made the site their regular shopping joint.
The amount of user traffic seeking new markets has risen to a new high over the past couple of weeks.
AlphaBay’s Definite Closure Adds to Chaos
Last week, it was revealed that the site had been seized by law enforcement after raids in three countries.
Further news found that AlphaBay’s supposed founder had been arrested earlier in July, and later died by suicide in his jail cell.
Once it became clear that AlphaBay wasn’t coming back, customers and vendors had to reckon with the fact that they would have to seek an alternative market for the long haul.
Hansa Market, along with its equivalent competitor Dream Market, began offering refuge to the stranded buyers shortly after AlphaBay went down.
But this created massive numbers of new registrants, which ultimately caused damaging technical glitches. Overwhelmed by the endless influx of new registrations, Hansa Market opted to put a halt on the creation of new accounts until further notice.
Since it is within the most popular dark web markets, Hansa’s actions further created customer traffic turbulence and instability to the once strong niche.
That is, until it reopened registration to new users.
Global Reaction to Law Enforcement Crackdown
Dark web users around the world have expressed fear and shock to the current affairs.
Some are worried about the free access of products they cannot normally buy outside of the dark web.
The other lot is worried about thousands of Bitcoin fortune they had deposited in AlphaBay.
The flow of trade has hit a snag though the smaller marketplaces are reporting a surge in traffic.
This is also the case with Hansa Market.
But, despite everything that happened with AlphaBay, darknet market customers are crossing their fingers to overcome the grim outlook.
And Hansa Market reopening its registration process to new users helps add to that optimism.
What’s to Come
While the news of AlphaBay’s closure was shocking to many in the dark web community, it was the darknet markets themselves that were forced to rise to the situation, making room for new customers and adjusting their sites’ operational capabilities accordingly.
Even though it took a week or so, Hansa Market has done just that. And maybe it will emerge as the top replacement for AlphaBay.
But there is a large barrier for Hansa to achieve that ambition. Recent darknet takedowns indicate law enforcement entities are increasingly cracking into these worldwide networks.
They seem to be harnessing the markets and their operators, and the coming months will be telling for the future of the dark web.
For now, it is a matter of hoping these takedowns are not the beginning of the end for the dark web and its wealth of inhabitants.