Evolution Market, the darknet black market site that sold everything from stolen credit cards to hard drugs, is gone. The site won’t load, and all the bitcoins are gone as well. Evolution staff members announced the pseudonymous administrators “Kimble” and “Verto” have taken all the bitcoins and run. Many merchants and buyers are despairing, and the merchants are reckoning that there were 12 million USD worth of bitcoins stolen.

The Evolution Market was only available on the Tor network, an anonymity network used by criminals, journalists, and dissidents to communicate anonymously. Although similar to Silk Road, Evolution was a bit more freewheeling, allowing hacking tools and stolen identities to be bought and sold as well. After the various Silk Roads were taken down, Evolution became the primary go-to darknet site to buy anything illicit.

NSWGreat, a moderator at Evolution, broke the news on Reddit, calling it an “exit scam.” An “exit scam” is when a darknet seller decides to continue accepting payments and not performing the services it was paid for. This is part of the seller’s exit strategy, they use their built-up goodwill in order to get as much money as possible before they leave.

With Evolution Market gone, it seems Agora Marketplace is the last go-to darknet black market site. Let’s see if their administrators are more honest.

If you want to take a dive into the Tor darknet, you’ll have to download the Tor Browser Bundle, which has Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux versions.

(Photo: Daniel Rehn)