Joker’s Stash Quits After Making $1 Billion in Crypto

Joker Stash

Joker’s Stash, one of the largest darknet marketplaces in the world popular for selling identity data and stolen credit card information, quitted last month after raking in $1 billion in cryptocurrencies. Some weeks ago, U.S. and European officials clamped down on some of the web portal’s servers tied to darknet market site, but could not totally shut operations down.

Darknet Market Joker’s Stash Closes Shop

A number of reports indicate that the world’s largest darknet market (DNM), in terms of stolen credit card and identity sales, has called it quits after operating since 2014. Joker’s Stash explained in mid-January that the business would be closing shop in mid-February and it has followed through with the plan.

The blockchain analysis firm Elliptic detailed that the darknet market raked in more than $1 billion in cryptocurrencies during its tenure. Elliptic also revealed that the estimate was a conservative calculation based on the revenue the DNM took in during the years and all the fees.

Darknet Market Joker’s Stash Retires After Raking in $1 Billion in Cryptocurrencies
Admins from Joker’s Stash left a letter to customers that explained the operators would be retiring.

On January 15, the DNM admins said the site would go dark on February 15, but Elliptic monitored the web portal and said the DNM went offline on February 3, 2021. The big darknet market had a lucky run up until 2020, when reports detailed that the owner of the DNM contracted the coronavirus and had to go to the hospital for seven days.

At the time, Joker’s Stash customers started complaining and having issues with card data and identification intel reliability. Both Krebs on Security and Gemini Advisory have published reports with a comprehensive analysis on the Joker’s Stash operations.

Covid-19 and Global Law Enforcement Push the Joker’s Stash Toward the Brink

Ever since the admin caught Covid-19 and the weeks that followed, Gemini Advisory said the business saw a “severe decline” in volumes. The image below, created by Gemini shows the decline in Joker’s Stash CNP and CP data toward the end of August 2020.

But Covid-19 wasn’t the only issue Joker’s Stash operation dealt with in 2020, as the law enforcement officials from Europe and the U.S. stepped in as well. Interpol and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) seized a number of its servers on December 16, 2020. But much like The Pirate Bay, Joker’s Stash set up new infrastructure on the web and operations continued until the retirement announcement.

“Joker goes on a well-deserved retirement. Joker’s Stash is closing,” the farewell letter said. “When we opened years ago, nobody knew us. Today we are one of the largest card/dumps marketplaces.”

Admins promised to leave the store’s “Stash” open for 30 more days and told people not to fall for any phony websites that could appear in the future. In capital letters, Joker’s Stash said that it would “never open again.” The darknet market made it clear that customers should not trust any imposters going forward.

The hoard the DNM obtained from payment card records stemmed from firms that saw large data breaches over the years. Gemini Advisory said that Joker’s Stash data came from high-profile hacks that saw the loss of massive amounts of confidential customer data.

Merchants caught in the hacker’s crossfires include Whole Foods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hilton Hotels, Hy-Vee supermarkets, and Lord and Taylor.

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