'Sheep Marketplace' Goes Offline And Up To $US44 Million In Bitcoins Disappears

Shrek sheepModern FarmerShrek the sheep, before being shorn.

Sheep Marketplace, an online market for drugs that
became prominent after Silk Road was shut downby U.S. prosecutors, has also gone offline and up to $US44 million in Bitcoins may have disappeared with it.

The BBC reports that the operator of Sheep Marketplace closed the site after he discovered a theft of $US5.3 million in Bitcoins.

But Sheep users on Reddit began complaining of a discrepancy over a weeklong period in which withdrawals were blocked:

Sheep users and other Bitcoin followers on reddit say that the administrators began blocking withdrawals of bitcoins from the site more than a week ago, and may have absconded with as much as $US44 million from the site’s users, pointing to a movement of 39,900 bitcoins visible in the public record of Bitcoin transactions known as the blockchain.

Many of those users are now openly saying they have been scammed.

Here is the note that the Sheep operators posted after they closed the site:

We are sorry to say, but we were robbed on Saturday 11/21/2013 by vendor EBOOK101. This vendor found bug in system and stole 5400 BTC — your money, our provisions, all was stolen. We were trying to resolve this problem, but we were not successful. We are sorry for your problems and inconvenience, all of current BTC will be ditributed to users, who have filled correct BTC emergency adress. I would like to thank to all SheepMarketplace moderators by this, who were helping with this problem. I am very sorry for this situation. Thank you all.

These thefts aren’t surprising. As we noted previously, Bitcoin is favoured by criminals.

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