Playing in the black market online is a very dangerous game.
American and European authorities said on Thursday that they had shut down two of the largest online black markets, AlphaBay and Hansa Market, and arrested their operators.
AlphaBay, the largest so-called dark net market, was taken down in earlier this month at the same time the authorities arrested the reported founder of the site, Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian man who was living in Bangkok.
Cazes committed suicide in his jail cell shortly after he was arrested, the authorities said on Thursday. He was 25 years old.
Also on Thursday, the Dutch national police announced that they had taken control of Hansa Market in June and had been operating the site since then, monitoring the vendors and customers and gathering identifying details on those involved in the 50,000 transactions that took place.
The idea that bitcoin and other e-currencies provide a strong level anonymity is absurd.
Word is out in certain circles that a not yet public investigation is ongoing. Big names will be ensnared, very big names.
Counting Silk Road, the government has now shut down and arrested operators of three major sites.
At this point, you are really an idiot if you think you can run one of these things and not get caught by the government. And if you are using the site for transactions, you are rolling the dice.
“This is likely one of the most important criminal investigations of this entire year, I have no doubt about that,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference on Thursday