If you hang around dark web markets or you keep an eye on the news, you might have seen some reports about the Bohemia marketplace.
A few searches over Reddit and other similar platforms brought users together, offering different solutions for all sorts of problems. Many of them were blamed on intense DDOS attacks.
Things went from bad to worse, and the end of the summer brought in even more rumors and issues with Bohemia.
What was Bohemia about?
Bohemia was often associated with the drug market. There were hundreds of vendors offering access to all kinds of drugs, many of them from different countries. However, the market had an obvious focus towards cannabis and other derivatives.
Apart from drugs, Bohemia also had a fair share of hackers offering various services. Some of the most prolific ones included scripts, malicious software and damaging phishing programs.
There are all kinds of rumors regarding what happened with the Bohemia marketplace. During the times it was down, most people blamed the issues on DDOS attacks. Some of them offered various alternatives to overcome the malfunctioning main page. However, it only depended on the error people got.
Then, as the market stopped working, there were rumors about it being shut down by the authorities. The thing is whenever something like this happens, it makes it to the news. Whether it’s the FBI or some different law enforcement agency from another country, they usually announce such news publicly.
To keep it simple, the authorities try to discourage other marketplace users from reaching such places for illicit products and services.
Some others suggested an exit scam, which is one of the most common risks associated with dark web marketplaces. At the end of the day, such marketplaces are not regulated, so no one can really control what owners do.
There were no announcements whatsoever from the authorities, as well as no announcements from the Bohemia management, which clearly suggests an exit scam.
The good news is there are other alternatives out there. The bad news is most people involved in transactions at the time of the exit scam lost their money.
What’s an exit scam?
An exit scam is quite common in small marketplaces with no reputation or a bad reputation. Basically, they won’t just offer a playground for providers and customers, but they also offer an extra service, such as an escrow service.
An escrow service means the marketplace management keeps the money until the product or service is delivered. This kind of service offers some extra peace of mind for the actual customers, who are buying something from someone they don’t know in an unregulated environment.
An exit scam occurs when the marketplace management simply disappears. The market is usually taken offline as well, so managers don’t leave any traces behind.
Without an escrow service, there would be no reason for market owners to leave out of nowhere. But when they hold a fortune in cryptocurrency from numerous customers, it’s a fairly good reason to simply disappear with the money.
The worst part about it? There’s not much anyone can do.
In this particular case with Bohemia, the event shocked everyone because the marketplace had a fairly good reputation. Sellers and buyers were left in the lurch, unable to access funds or assets. The loss was substantial, given the reputation of this market.
People lost money they’ve earned over long periods of time. Moreover, the entire industry was affected not just the ones directly involved.
For example, it’s one thing when the authorities shut a market, such as the Silk Road. The owners are usually busted, but that doesn’t affect the whole industry. People are just more careful, but they don’t lose confidence in market owners.
When there’s an exit scam, the whole industry takes a hit. Obviously, users feel more anxious about using such markets, not to mention escrow services. There’s a risk either way. If you use such a service, there’s the risk of an exit scam. If you don’t, there’s the risk of getting scammed by a vendor.
What happens next
Bottom line, while Bohemia is often referred to as shutdown, all the evidence leads to an exit scam. There are no official reports regarding the official closure by the authorities. It simply stopped working out of nowhere, with no words from the management.
Until the owners passed away out of nowhere, all the evidence suggests an exit scam. The Bohemia market had a few known managers, without disclosing their real names, but nicknames only. None of them have come out to make any announcements.
On a more positive note, there are still a few good alternatives out there, but such a random move makes the dark web feel more insecure than ever, with both buyers and sellers feeling anxious about using such markets.