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Darknet’s JokerStash to Retire After Making Over $1B Through Illegal Transactions

It has been reported that the founder of “Joker’s Stash,” which is one of the biggest underground marketplaces for stolen payment card data, is apparently retiring officially – after registering a fortune of more than $1 billion.

According to a blog post on Elliptic, the anonymous founder of the website, known as JokerStash, declared that the website would stop any operation after February 15th. Joker’s Stash went live in 2014 and became famous (or, better said, infamous) pretty fast.

“The revenues earned by Joker’s Stash can be estimated from the value of incoming cryptocurrency payments to its wallet, as seen on the blockchain,” commented Elliptic co-founder Tom Robinson. “Since 2015 almost $400 million in bitcoin was sent to the marketplace, with annual sales peaking at $139 million in 2018. Sales dropped over the next two years, reflecting a broader downtrend in carding activity.”

JokerStash stole payment card data in order to purchase gift cards, which can later be sold for cash. It is claimed that JokerStash kept all of the proceedings of the marketplace in bitcoin.

“If that is the case then the recent bitcoin price increase would have substantially inflated the value of [JokerStash’s] assets,” Robinson added. “If we assume an average total commission of 20% on sales, then considering bitcoin alone (the site also accepts Litecoin and Dash) they would have taken a total of at least 60,000 bitcoins – which today has a value of $2.5 billion.”

Elliptic also commented that Joker’s Stash, which already stopped customer activity on February the 3rd, is “one of the few criminal marketplaces to shut down on its own terms, a victim of its own success rather than as a result of any apparent law enforcement operation.”

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