On August 21, 2020, our website crawler found that all Empire Market links where offline. Not so surprising, as the renowned darknet market was under constant DDOS attack for many months.
However, this time it was different: A dozen hours later the service was still unreachable with no news from the Empire admins. Exit-scam rumors started to spread out rapidly on Twitter, Reddit, and other forums.
Finally one of the market staff members, the head moderator se7en, updated us about the situation:
"It's now been over 48 hours of the market being down. The market mod panel has also been down that long. I had hoped it would have returned by now. It is looking very unlikely that it will. The mod panel is down and the admins are not on jabber.
I don't think the admins ever planned an exit.
They had frequently told me they wanted Empire to be the longest living market in history, it is sad the admins didn't give any notice of the closure and there is no excuse for that.
I know the admins were getting tired of keeping Empire Market running. Communication between the mod team and the admins was very limited. This was frustrating but I had accepted that this is the way they wanted it.
Here is why I think the admins closed shop. The market was online because the two admins agreed to make weekly payments to [DDoS attacker] /u/SchwererGustav. I can guess he must have been getting paid at least $10k or $15k a week maybe more.
New DDOS came from a new DDOSer that could hold down 9 EndGame links. This was probably when the admins decided to call it quits. I doubt they would want to pay multiple DDOSers and at the same time, it wouldn't work paying one DDOSer if another is holding the market down.
The admins took the market down completely, even the mod panel. The forum started getting attacked after that. I'm disappointed the admins ended the market like this.
I apologize to anyone that had money in escrow."
As a reminder, Empire Market was the biggest crypto market on Tor since Dream Market closure, enabling people to trade drugs, viruses, credit card information, and other illicit products.
It opened back in 2018 and claimed to have over one million users and 50,000 listed products before this tragedic event.
It is estimated that Empire admins took over 30 million worth of bitcoin from their users with this exit scam, that's why you shouldn't keep your coins in any wallet that is not fully owned by you, like exchanges or dark markets.
Now if you are searching for an alternative market, don't forget to check our listing of them all, you'll surely find what you want!
But don't forget that in most countries ordering from theses websites is certainly illegal.