I’ve posted a lot on the speculation surrounding AlphaBay. The recent popular theory – with evidence stacking up in its favor – is that law enforcement has taken down the black market.
On July 5th, the first day AlphaBay’s shutters went black; the Montreal Gazette reported two Montreal raids directed by the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The cause of the raid: the “sale of merchandise on the ‘Dark Web’ of the internet”.
Just recently, the theory gained momentum when a 26-year-old Canadian citizen named Alexander Cazes hung himself in a Bangkok jail cell.
Cazes, escaping deportation to the US, was arrested under the charges of drug trafficking. Coincidentally, the date of Cazes’ arrest was July 5th. Although this theory is elaborate, it isn’t entirely far-fetched.
JP Buntinx, a researcher for The Merkle, speculates on the possibility,
“If Cazes is indeed the AlphaBay administrator, this news doesn’t bode well for the marketplace and all of the money still locked inside its wallets. It is unclear if anyone else has access to the necessary resources so that the platform can be relaunched in the future. It is also unclear as to what Cazes may have told the authorities in regards to AlphaBay, its users, or other people working on the platform.”
Of course, along with the speculation of what happened to AlphaBay is the migration to new and existing black markets for dark web vendors and consumers.
While the official AlphaBay sub-reddit recommends Hansa Market, an official report by Deep Dot Web shows that Dream Market and RAMP, a Russian black market, are the two black markets following AlphaBay in popularity.
Third on the list is Hansa, followed by the Silk Road 3.1. Regardless of whether or not AlphaBay is gone doesn’t matter, as most past-consumers have already sworn off the site even if it were to return.
The question is – which black market will follow in AlphaBay’s footsteps, as Alphabay followed in the Silk Road’s?