Nucleus, one of the top darknet bitcoin marketplaces, has been offline for a week now. Amidst the talks of an exit scam, some faithful Nucleus customers believe it will be back before 1 May.

The subreddit /NucleusMarket is an utter desolation. Since 13 April, when it went offline, no message has been published by the owners of Nucleus explaining what had happened. The trend is flooded with aggressive ads of a rival darknet market:

“Your orders are lost and your bitcoins were stolen by Nucleus Market. Move to Dream Market to find your vendors!”

The darknet marketplace sold drugs, stolen identity cards and lots of other illegal stuff. It had оver 5,000 bitcoins in customer deposits (worth more than $2 million at present rate). If it does not come back, Nucleus can be credited with a typical bitcoin exit scam.

However, it will not be the first nor the worst of them. Back in December 2013, the anonymous Sheep Marketplace wеnt offline with up to 40,000 BTC, worth $40 million at the time.

Another similar scam exit was pеrpetrated in March 2015 by the Evolution marketplace, with users losing over 43,000 BTC ($12 million). The scheme was nicknamed “the perfect bitcoin scam” in the darknet world. Most customers would not even think about reporting to police. Nothing is known about the fate of the owners of Evolution, though at that time some users were wondering what it would feel like to be the two people who robbed thousands of drug dealers at once. The owner of Sheep Marketplace has been identified as Thomas Jiřikovský and a luxury house he bought in the Czech Republic was seized by the police but his own whereabouts are still unknown.

Still, a number of Nucleus customers are quite optimistic and convinced that “people will feel embarrassed when Nucleus comes back.”  They urge others:

“Calm down everyone. Be thankful Nucleus staff are doing their best to make the market safe for us to use.”

They point to the fact that Nucleus went offline multiple times before:

“Nuc has been doing this since 2014. if they have server issues, if they have been hacked, if they need maintenance, ect... they shut down unannounced and hold all coin. They never release a statement until it’s done and over with. In reailty they don’t care about whether or not people will come back ‘cause they will. Damned users tend to forget all the other exit scams. When they know the market and the ease of use they can’t help themselves and go right back.”

When inquired by a sceptical user about the date limit, some Nucleus customer assured that the darknet marketplace will be back online before 1 May.


Alexey Tereshchenko