Darknet operator moves bitcoins worth $144 million for the first time since 2015


An entity moved around 4,800 BTC ($144 million) originating from Abraxas, a darknet market that exit scammed in November 2015, after previously sitting dormant for almost eight years. The funds were consolidated from multiple addresses and also deposited to a bitcoin mixer, a service that obscures the origin and destination of bitcoin transactions by mixing them with other transactions.

Abraxas was one of the largest darknet markets in 2015, offering various illicit goods and services, such as drugs, weapons, and hacking tools. Abraxas abruptly shut down in November 2015, locking user funds on the website and leaving a message that claimed the site was hacked. However, many users suspected that the site’s administrators had performed an exit scam, stealing millions of dollars worth of bitcoin from their customers.

Moved to a mixer

The funds linked to Abraxas were left untouched until October 23, 2023, when the entity moved them from several addresses to a single address. The entity then transferred the entire amount of 4,800 BTC to a bitcoin mixer. A bitcoin mixer is a tool that jumbles up bitcoin transactions across a period of time by splitting the coins across various wallets. This makes it difficult to trace the source and destination of the coins, enhancing the privacy and anonymity of the users.

The graph below above an example of the movements from one of the addresses associated with Abraxas. The address received 1,000 BTC in November 2015 and did not send any transactions until October 23, 2023, when it sent 1,000 BTC to another address. The graph also shows the inputs and outputs of the transactions, as well as the fees paid.


Author: Godwin Okon