One of the largest markets in the darknet, Apollon, is suspected of pulling an exit scam by locking out of vendors while at the same time allowing users to make purchases via the site.
A number of vendors are protesting through online platforms such as Dread, a Reddit-Style dark web forum, Torum, HotMilk, Hub, Envoy and many others warning fellow users. Vendors are claiming that they have been denied access to their accounts, despite every effort to get through.
Apollon was established in 2018 and has continued to grow ever since. A website that runs Deep web news, DarkNetStats revealed that the founders of Apollon are involved in the running of several other tor sites, a factor that makes them highly influential.
One of the vendors in a post claimed that the “mods” were stealing from them and then locking them out and denying them access with claims that they were phished. He went ahead to alert people to stay away from the market.
While Silk Road's main advisor and controller of its operation’s story still fresh in our heads, as he pleaded guilty a couple of days ago, the story of these two darknet markets sounds similar.
The two seem to have played big in just a period of 2 years, and who knows if Apollon’s alleged closure is a scam as one where Clerk, Silk Road adviser invented a similar story to “fool” the authorities. Dark.Eye, which offers rating services to the darknet websites, has rated Apollon as having slightly above one star.
Possibility of Exit Scam
In as much as the events surrounding the Apollon marketplace poses a possibility of scam on its users, it is hard to establish the truth behind these allegations as of now.
Last year, Wall Street market tried to exit scam by going into maintenance mode to confuse users within the community. The end result is it got seized by LE.
For the case of Apollon, could it be trickery against legal authorities as they continue to close in on the fight against narcotics and other illicit trades? Or could be a strategy of trying to evolve into a new establishment with new structures?
Whatever the case, one thing remains, there is high customer demand for the goods and services under these illegal sites.
This can be attributed to the report released by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, stating that cryptocurrency in-flow to the marketplaces doubled for the first time in four years, by end of 2019.
If Apollon pulls an exit scam, it will be the recent market to do so and it joins other markets such as Nightmare, Traderoute, Olympus and many others.
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