Over the weekend, Sheep Marketplace, the Tor-based underground marketplace that replaced Silk Road after the feds shut it down, has been closed. Its operators noticed that a large amount of Bitcoins had been stolen by someone.
Since this is an underground marketplace we’re talking about, it’s no wonder that the story is highly controversial.
The site’s operators say that only 5,400 Bitcoins ($5.3 million / €3.9 million) have been stolen. However, a user called sheeproadreloaded2 who is allegedly trying to track down the stolen funds reported on Reddit that the thief possesses a total of 96,000 Bitcoins – that’s nearly $100 million (€76 million).
Others report that $40 million (€30 million) worth of Bitcoins have been stolen.
Sheep Marketplace owners report that a vendor, dubbed EBOOK101, found a bug in the site’s systems that allowed him to steal the Bitcoins without being detected. On the other hand, many say the Sheep Marketplace is actually a scam and that its operators are actually the ones who stole the money.
A site called SheepMarketScam.com has been set up. The website presents several “facts” about the underground market being a scam.
The underground service’s administrators have promised to distribute the remaining Bitcoins to users. However, no one appears to have been refunded so far.
Shortly after the Sheep Market was closed down, its operators posted a link on the front page to another service called TorMarket. However, TorMarket representatives have clarified that they’re not connected to Sheep and asked for the link to be removed.
Nextgov informs that the US Secret Service and FBI are refusing to comment on the incident.
In any case, if reports are true, this is one of the largest Bitcoin heists seen so far.