The kingpin or kingpins of the worlds biggest illicit credit card marketplace have retired after making an estimated fortune of over 1 billion in cryptocurrency, according to research by blockchain analysis firm Elliptic shared with Reuters.
The Jokers Stash marketplace, where stolen credit cards and identity data traded hands for bitcoin and other digital coins, ceased operations this month, Elliptic said on Friday, in what it called a rare example of such a site bowing out on its own terms.
Criminal use of cryptocurrencies has long worried regulators, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde calling last month for tighter oversight.
While terrorist financing and money laundering are top of lawenforcement concerns, narcotics, fraud, scams and ransomware are among the chief areas of illegal use of digital currencies, according to Elliptic cofounder Tom Robinson.
Jokers Stash was launched in 2014, with its anonymous founder JokerStash which could be one or more people posting messages in both Russian and English, Elliptic said. It was available on the regular web and via the darknet, which hosts marketplaces selling contraband.
The darknet, or darkweb, is a part of the internet that isnt visible to regular search engines, and requires a form of browser that hides a users identity to access.
Elliptic, whose clients include lawenforcement agencies and financial firms, estimates that JokerStash raked in more than 1…