After an incident revolving around Silk Road 3 happened in early 2017, a post on DarknetMarkets subreddit emerged, explaining what has allegedly happened to the market, and the reasons behind it.
The post was written by one of the SR3 mods, who was working on SR3 and who tried to rectify some of the harm that was caused.
NOTE: Silk Road 3.1 was supposedly HACKED and the owners temporarily closed it down. It is now back up and operational. In recent weeks, AlphaBay and Hansa markets were seized by law enforcement so they are also gone.
You must keep your identity safe, so always use a VPN and PGP, and never use your real email or name. Happy Trails.
In the continuation of the post, the mod who goes by the name AlphaWaves claims that another mod called BattleStar was starting to become paranoid and had stopped working for the marketplace—causing the cessation of fund transfers.
After that, the darknet market was proclaimed to have underwent an exit scam, and it was supposedly closed.
While this was all happening, AlphaWaves and a third mod from SR3, named Paragon, started working on a new marketplace called Silk Road 3.1.
In the initial post, AlphaWaves claimed that all the funds that were locked on SR3 servers were still up on the site, and the team would try to refund as much as possible back to the vendors.
The post about the SR3 exit scam also served as an announcement for the opening of the future SR3.1.
Before the site went live, former SR3 vendors were allegedly contacted in an attempt to refund the Bitcoin lost during the SR3 exit scam.
There was even a form available on the Silk Road 3.1 site that could be used to recover lost funds, if the necessary evidence was provided.
Despite all attempts to make a positive first impression on the users of the darknet market, the stigma of the Silk Road’s name still deterred most people from trying out the new marketplace.
The market was active for around four months and it was starting to gain a reputation, despite retaining the infamous Silk Road brand that many members of the darknet community had learned to stay clear of.
Most of this was due to the fact that many buyers and vendors have reported that AlphaWaves was one of the best support administrators they’ve encountered on the dark web, and that they were very pleased with the way they were treated on SR3.
Earlier this month, a DarknetMarkets subreddit user named Skillzy2017 posted that Silk Road 3.1 and Lunacy’s Apache servers were leaking IPs.
The user claimed they contacted SR3.1’s support team with report, but they were soon banned from using the site after doing so.
Shortly after SR3.1 was closed, an announcement was released that the market’s servers had been hacked and the funds were stolen.
A subreddit post said the site displayed a banner with the words “The End,” along with an alleged explanation of the situation.
The explanation stated that all the funds on SR3.1 were stolen, but that users’ personal information were not touched. Further down there is an offer, primarily to the owners of Hansa and Dream Market, that they take over all the equipment and software used for running SR3.1 for free and attempt to restart it.
There is also an offer for sale of said equipment to any “decent market/darknet personality” for the amount stolen, so that the cash trove could be refunded.
By doing so, said “personality” would gain ownership of the market.
There’s also information about SR3.1’s alleged daily turnover for the past week, along with details about active advertising outlets and user count data.
The announcement ends with a small field and captcha that can be filled out and used as a means of arranging the said sale of SR3.1.
The darknet market community is heavily divided on this topic, as is expected. Those who claimed that the Silk Road name brought only bad news after the initial market was taken down are holding on to the claim that the announcement was a lie and that, in reality, the owners of SR3.1 just pulled off an exit scam.
Others claim that the owners of SR3.1 were upstanding members of the darknet community, and that some third party entity was involved in this incident.
Whether or not these claims prove to be true, the reality is that the Silk Road 3.1 funds have most likely disappeared irreversibly. The only thing SR3.1 vendors and buyers can do is wait and see if somebody will step up and buyout the debt in the days to come.