After months of inconsistent service and weeks of downtime, Olympus Market is now reportedly confirmed to have pulled off an exit scam on its users.
This event comes just five months after Olympus was the focus of major backlash from the darknet community for actively working to takedown a fellow hidden service.
Despite an apology for its role in the incident, Olympus’ reputation never recovered. And now, the exit scam marks the end of months of decline for the market.
nHere’s a timeline of what happened to Olympus, starting from its launch in early 2018 and leading to its apparent permanent closure this month.
A Promising Start
Olympus was one of these markets, making its first appearance in the beginning of 2018.
This site showed significant growth and gained popularity as vendors offered free stuff as a means of promoting their products.
Just like in the other markets, Olympus provided almost everything that a customer might be interested in, and one could make referrals and get a discount when shopping next time.
In Olympus, both Monero and Bitcoin were accepted, and the administration promised to adopt more currencies in due time.
As much as this site was making progress, there were strict rules when it came to content. The trade of items such as war materials and poison was prohibited.
The admins of the site also made it clear that no threats nor blackmail would be entertained on the platform.
Many customers believed these policies created confidence as their security was considered upheld.
Additionally, the team behind Olympus Market made sure there was an immediate and efficient bug fix and response system since they knew the existence of these bugs.
Dispute with HugBunter
Despite a positive start, just like in other markets, Olympus also faced challenges.
Five months ago, Olympus Market involved itself in a controversial public scandal with Dread, a darknet forum that was launched earlier this year by Reddit user “HugBunter.”
It is believed that Dread was hacked by Olympus officials as they claimed that HugBunter was a scammer.
This event threw the darknet community into a tangle as users were divided on which side to believe.
Efforts to resolve the dispute came when an Olympus admin posted an apology on Reddit, addressing the concerns of the site’s customers as well as the darknet market community at large.
The Olympus representative acknowledged the poor behavior of the site’s administration and specifically made an apology to HugBunter for the trouble caused.Though the dispute might have been deemed resolved, Olympus’ actions in the months after the apology further distanced itself from the customers who once trusted the site.
In the span of months since the Dread incident, the uptime of Olympus was minimal as rumors spread that the market might have exit scammed.
People started to smell an exit scam when Olympus staff began to give responses to customers that were backed by no actions.
Users perceived this as a strategy to buy more time to steal money from innocent customers.
They also promised to give vendor bonds to any vendor that was interested or requested, but these promises never came to fruition.
Olympus Market administrators also banned legitimate vendors for their bug problems—despite the vendors showing a solid record of successful transactions.
Customers also started experiencing difficulties in withdrawing money from their account wallets.
Exit Scam Confirmed
After weeks of speculation, a former Olympus team member eventually confirmed in a message to HugBunter that the head administrators had indeed pulled off an exit scam, running off with coins that belonged to the site’s vendors and customers.
Olympus admins Ori and Apollo have gone hiding and cut their contact with the users of Olympus Market.
Below is the last comment left from Apollo on Dread.
This is not the first time a darknet site has exit scammed and left market users disappointed as their money was robbed from their wallets.
Throughout darknet history, admins have waited to exit scam until they gained the popularity and confidence of users.
It is still not clear as to the reason why Olympus Market decided to make an exit scam at this point.
The administrators might have waited until they accumulated a certain amount of funds and then decided to vanish with users’ money at the opportune moment.
Time may tell more details about what went on behind the scenes.
But for now, anyone who had an Olympus account is being advised to change his or her password on other darknet accounts and be secured with 2FA.
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