LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine): After making an estimated $358 million (£260 million) on the darknet, the operators of the largest illegal marketplace for stolen credit cards are retiring.
UniCC’s anonymous proprietors expressed gratitude to the criminal community for their citing, health and business, as reasons for the shutdown.
During the winter, many additional illicit darknet marketplaces voluntarily shut down for unclear reasons.
Police say they’re conflicted about the pattern.
The darknet is a section of the internet that can only be accessed via specialised browser software.
Hundreds of millions of dollars in crypto-payments made to UniCC were tracked by the experts of cryptocurrency at Elliptic.
“Our team retires,” UniCC wrote on darknet forums in both English and Russia. “We are not young, and our health do not allow to work like this any longer.”
UniCC has been in operation since 2013, with tens of thousands of fresh stolen credit cards being advertised for sale every day.
Hundreds of millions of payment card data were stolen from online payment companies, banks and shops sold on online markets like UniCC.
According to Elliptic researchers, the site has collected $358 million in cryptocurrency payments across Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and Dash since its inception.
UniCC’s closing comes little over a year after Joker’s Stash, the previous market leader , retired.
It’s also the most recent in a string of illicit markets that have voluntarily shut down in the past six months.
White House Market, the largest darknet market of its sort, announced its closure in October 2021. Cannazon and Torrez followed in November and December, respectively.
Torrez was one of the largest English-language markets in the world when it shuttered in December counterfeiting cash, selling drugs, hacking tools, and criminal services.
It had been “a great pleasure to work with most vendors and users” according to a letter on the company’s webpage.
When darknet sites closed down in the past, the operators had been known to vanish with the money of consumers or vendors – this is what is called an exit scam. They could potentially be hacked or intercepted by law enforcement and taken.