Founder of world’s biggest illicit credit card marketplace, Joker’s Stash, retires with $2.8 billion

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The brains behind the largest forbidden credit card marketplace in the world — Joker’s Stash — have called it quits after having raked in a fortune of almost $3 billion, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic reported.

The underground marketplace, where stolen credit cards and identity data were being marketed and sold in exchange for bitcoin (BTC) and other virtual tokens, voluntarily shut down earlier this month, according to investigators.

In January, Joker’s Stash released a note saying it would stop operations on February 15. The site was no longer available as of February 3, Tom Robinson, Elliptic co-founder and chief scientist said.

Big stash, indeed

Elliptic reported on February 12 that, based on analysis of the hacker controlling Joker’s Stash, he must have amassed around $2.8 billion from sales of a massive number of stolen card information, Modern Consensus disclosed.

The blockchain analytics group estimated, based on the fees that the dark web marketplace charged, including the rapid increase in the price of bitcoins, that the administrators of Joker’s Stash earned roughly 60,000 BTCs.

Bitcoin has ballooned from just over $300 in 2014 to reach a record of more than $49,000 on Friday, pulling up other cryptocurrencies and coins in its wake.

The dark web, a.k.a. darknet, is a part of the internet that is not visible to conventional search engines and requires a type of browser (TOR, for example) that conceals a user’s identity to access. Such browsers were specifically made to help safeguard communications by government authorities.

They have it all

Just about any imaginable criminal activity can be found on the darknet, including the purchase of guns, pornographic materials, fake money, and illegal drugs.

It’s also where guns-for-hire and other killers offer their services.

Meanwhile, Chainalysis, another blockchain analysis company, recently stated the criminal share of all cryptocurrency transactions were down from $21.4 billion in 2019 to around 10 billion in transaction volume last year.

Image courtesy of Cryptology News/YouTube Screenshot

Jet Encila

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Jet Encila

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