Type of site
Sheep Marketplace was an anonymous marketplace set up as a Tor hidden service. It launched in March 2013 and was one of the lesser known sites to gain popularity with the well publicized closure of the Silk Road marketplace later that year.It ceased operation in December 2013, when it announced it was shutting down after a vendor stole $6 million worth of users' bitcoins.
In December 2013 Sheep Marketplace announced that one of the site's vendors exploited a vulnerability to steal 5400 bitcoins, valued at about $6 million at the time.According to Forbes and The Guardian, several users reported the site had started to block withdrawals of bitcoins more than a week prior to the theft. Users furthermore suggested the site's administrators held far more than 5400 bitcoins, pointing to records of a coincidental transfer of almost 40,000. As users in the site's forums began to complain and discuss the possibility of connivance, administrators took the forum offline.
Victims of the theft have attempted to identify the thief by sending "tagged" bitcoins to his accounts, using the public nature of bitcoin transactions to follow these moneys through the "blockchain" record of transfers. Within a couple days of the theft, a large amount of bitcoins were noticed being processed by Bitcoin Fog, a "tumbler" used to launder bitcoins by shuffling them between many accounts for a small fee. The size of the transaction, 96,000 bitcoins, caused Bitcoin Fog to fail, leaving the money traceable.Not long thereafter, the last known wallet of the user who had been presumed to be the thief was found to be a wallet owned by BTC-e, a large bitcoin currency exchange. This has led to speculation that the thief sent their money to the exchange in the hope of trading the coins for alternate crypto-currencies or moving to new wallets to further obfuscate their path.
In March 2015 Czech police arrested a man suspected to be the Sheep Marketplace thief when he paid for an expensive house entirely in bitcoins.A nine-month investigation showed that he had made $800,000 of sudden purchases. In October 2017 Tomáš Jiříkovský, the creator of the Sheep Marketplace, was sentenced to serve nine years in prison for stealing bitcoins from the market's users.
In May 2016 two men from Florida were arrested after tracing Bitcoin transactions via Coinbase,however the amount withdrawn was small compared to the total Sheep Marketplace theft.
A cryptocurrency exchange, or a digital currency exchange (DCE), is a business that allows customers to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for other assets, such as conventional fiat money or other digital currencies. Exchanges may accept credit card payments, wire transfers or other forms of payment in exchange for digital currencies or cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency exchange can be a market maker that typically takes the bid–ask spreads as a transaction commission for is service or, as a matching platform, simply charges fees.
Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its implementation was released as open-source software.
Silk Road was an online black market and the first modern darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs. As part of the dark web, it was operated as a Tor hidden service, such that online users were able to browse it anonymously and securely without potential traffic monitoring. The website was launched in February 2011; development had begun six months prior. Initially there were a limited number of new seller accounts available; new sellers had to purchase an account in an auction. Later, a fixed fee was charged for each new seller account. Silk Road provided goods and services to over 100,000 buyers.
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized database using strong cryptography to secure transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership. It typically does not exist in physical form and is typically not issued by a central authority. Cryptocurrencies typically use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems. When a cryptocurrency is minted or created prior to issuance or issued by a single issuer, it is generally considered centralized. When implemented with decentralized control, each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.
Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange based in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. Launched in July 2010, by 2013 and into 2014 it was handling over 70% of all bitcoin (BTC) transactions worldwide, as the largest bitcoin intermediary and the world's leading bitcoin exchange.
The bitcoin network is a peer-to-peer payment network that operates on a cryptographic protocol. Users send and receive bitcoins, the units of currency, by broadcasting digitally signed messages to the network using bitcoin cryptocurrency wallet software. Transactions are recorded into a distributed, replicated public database known as the blockchain, with consensus achieved by a proof-of-work system called mining. Satoshi Nakamoto, the designer of bitcoin, claimed that design and coding of bitcoin began in 2007. The project was released in 2009 as open source software.
Charles Shrem IV is an American entrepreneur and bitcoin advocate. He co-founded the now-defunct startup company BitInstant, and is a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation. In 2014 he was sentenced to two years in prison for aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money-transmitting business related to the Silk Road marketplace. He was released from prison in 2016. In 2017, he joined Jaxx and served as its chief operating officer, and founded cryptocurrency advisory CryptoIQ.
The dark web is the World Wide Web content that exists on darknets: overlay networks that use the Internet but require specific software, configurations, or authorization to access. Through the dark web, private straphanger networks can communicate and conduct business anonymously without divulging identifying information, such as a user's location. The dark web forms a small part of the deep web, the part of the Web not indexed by web search engines, although sometimes the term deep web is mistakenly used to refer specifically to the dark web.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to control its creation and management, rather than relying on central authorities. It was invented and implemented by the presumed pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who integrated many existing ideas from the cypherpunk community. Over the course of bitcoin's history, it has undergone rapid growth to become a significant currency both on- and offline. From the mid 2010s, some businesses began accepting bitcoin in addition to traditional currencies.
Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency invented by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who decided to create a payment system that is instant, fun, and free from traditional banking fees. To do this, the coin featured the friendly face of the Shiba Inu dog from the popular "Doge" meme as its logo. It was introduced on December 6, 2013 and quickly developed its own online community reaching a market capitalization of US $1,986,736,955 at it's peak on Sunday, January 7th 2018.
Black Market Reloaded was a .onion hidden Tor website which sold illegal drugs and other illegal goods such as stolen credit cards and firearms. Its popularity increased dramatically after the closure of Silk Road, its largest competitor. In late November 2013, the owner of Black Market Reloaded announced that the website would be taken offline due to an unmanageable influx of new customers following the collapse of Sheep Marketplace and Silk Road.
Operation Onymous was an international law enforcement operation targeting darknet markets and other hidden services operating on the Tor network.
Evolution was a darknet market operating on the Tor network. The site was founded by an individual known as 'Verto' who also founded the now defunct Tor Carding Forum.
A darknet market is a commercial website on the web that operates via darknets such as Tor or oI2P. They function primarily as black markets, selling or brokering transactions involving drugs, cyber-arms, weapons, counterfeit currency, stolen credit card details, forged documents, unlicensed pharmaceuticals, steroids, and other illicit goods as well as the sale of legal products. In December 2014, a study by Gareth Owen from the University of Portsmouth suggested the second most popular sites on Tor were darknet markets.
Cryptocurrency tumbler or cryptocurrency mixing service is a service offered to mix potentially identifiable or 'tainted' cryptocurrency funds with others, so as to obscure the trail back to the fund's original source. Tumblers have arisen to improve the anonymity of cryptocurrencies, usually bitcoin, since the currencies provide a public ledger of all transactions.
Grams is a discontinued search engine for Tor based darknet markets launched in April 2014, and closed in December 2017. The service allowed users to search multiple darknet markets for products like drugs and guns from a simple search interface, and also provided the capability for its users to hide their transactions through its bitcoin tumbler Helix.
Atlantis was a darknet market founded in March 2013, the third such type of market, concurrent with The Silk Road and Black Market Reloaded. It was the first market to accept Litecoin.
ShapeShift is a company that offers global trading of a variety of digital assets via web and mobile platforms. It is headquartered in Switzerland, but run out of Denver.
Cryptocurrency and security describes attempts to obtain digital currencies by illegal means, for instance through phishing, scamming, a supply chain attack or hacking, or the measures to prevent unauthorized cryptocurrency transactions, and storage technologies. In extreme cases even a computer which is not connected to any network can be hacked.
IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger and cryptocurrency designed for the Internet of things (IoT). It uses a directed acyclic graph to store transactions on its ledger, motivated by a potentially higher scalability over blockchain based distributed ledgers. IOTA does not use miners to validate transactions, instead, users that issue a new transaction must approve two previous transactions and perform a small amount of proof of work. Transactions can therefore be issued without fees, facilitating microtransactions.