A notorious darknet marketplace has reportedly disappeared with customers’ deposits worth 5,000 Bitcoin.
Nucleus, as the underground market is titled, had been in business since 2014, and was a popular choice for buying everything illegal — from drugs to stolen confidential data — on internet. After a successful run, the Onion website went offline last week following a reported rift between the moderators and one of the merchants named theDmaster.
According to the conversations available on Nucleus Reddit, the aforementioned merchant reportedly hacked Nucleus after getting banned from selling on the website. Apparently, the same person also created some phishing versions of the darknet to scam users.
“I can confirm that he was engaging with the admins because his account was suspended,” one of the Nucleus users claimed. “I can also confirm that he tried very hard to make me part with a lot of money on many different occasions. Its a plausible scenario.”
There is still, however, a slight possibility that Nucleus would reappear in near future with all the vendors’ and users’ money. The darknet, as many merchants claim, is not an exit scam, for it has gone offline many times in past following technical glitches.
“Let Nucleus sort out the hack & improve servers. Many of us have orders pending, coin in our accounts, etc. Some are waiting on tiny $100 orders, some much larger. Don’t lose your minds over it, your coin/orders will still be there and business will return to usual soon enough” said one of the merchants. As for now, users, whose orders were pending on Nucleus, are tailing their concerned merchants to other darknet websites.
Last year, a drug marketplace called Evolution had also disappeared with million dollars worth of customers’ Bitcoin. There were however no attempts made from the victims’ side to retrieve the lost amount, for it would have enabled law enforcement agencies to scrutinize them as well.
If Nucleus doesn’t appear back, its vendors and users can consider their money gone as well.