Incognito Market’s $30M Crisis Sparks Exit Scam Fears

The notorious dark web platform, Incognito Market, known for its narcotics trade, is worth anywhere between $10 million and $30 million. But since March 5, 2024, users have complained of failed crypto withdrawals of Bitcoin [BTC] and Monero [XMR]. In response to the growing clamor, the marketplace’s administrator, identified as “Pharoah,” attributed the withdrawal issues to ongoing system upgrades.

“Please note that the initial stages of this upgrade may briefly affect usability in the first few days since the servers are multitasking on both old data synchronization and new requests,” they said.

The issues persisted despite Pharoah’s assurances. Things turned worse after Hugbunter, a prominent dark web community figure and forum administrator for Dread, alleged that Pharoah had offered him a bribe in exchange for silencing discussions about withdrawal problems on Dread. Hugbunter’s rejection of the offer and subsequent warning to the community have fueled suspicions of an elaborate exit scam in Incognito Market. Hugbunter stated: “Unfortunately, I can 100% confirm the exit scam now.”

Former cybercriminal Brett Johnson, who was once on the United States Most Wanted List, has a stark warning:

Incognito Market Pulls an Exit Scam. The Truth About Darknet Markets? All of them are exit scams. The only question is whether law enforcement can shut down the market and arrest its operators before the exit scam takes place. Darkweb Dread’s Hugbunter confirms the exit in the below snapshot. Tens of millions of criminal dollars were stolen, creating a power vacuum in the Darkweb Market Space. Expect the archetype market to step in and fill the Void to become the unquestioned #1 of criminal markets.

Incognito Market Embraces Stablecoin

The troubled Darknet Market recently extended its support to Ethereum and DAI. Unlike their peers, stablecoins have yet to take off among darknet markets and have only started to gain preference due to their nature of avoiding volatility.

Last year, Russia’s most feared darknet market, Hydra, and a cryptocurrency exchange, Garantex, were sanctioned by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for their alleged association with ransomware activities, as reported by TronWeekly. The US Treasury Department described Hydra as the world’s “largest and most prominent darknet market.”

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Written by John Smith

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