One of the world’s largest and most popular darknet markets announced their impending closure on Thursday, creating a substantial power vacuum soon to be filled by rival markets. ToRReZ, which had been in rather steady operation since February 2020, credited its success to the slow, organic nature of its growth, bowing out at a time when it enjoys peak popularity.
Following examples set by White House Market in October and Cannazon in November, ToRReZ admins pledged a clean and honest exit, specifying the chance for active users to tie up loose ends. This includes the shipping and finalizing of outstanding orders, and the chance for all parties to withdrawal remaining funds.
ToRReZ had close to 50,000 listings in total on its site days before the notice and by its count had registered close to 300,000 users.
A PGP-signed message now greets users when logging in to the market, replacing all browsing and order placement functionality. It states that the market will be kept online for “at least two to three weeks,” encouraging buyers and vendors to resolve any outstanding disputes and provide necessary information about the status of packages still in transit.
“Do not be a dick to each other,” pleads ToRReZ admin mrblonde in the message. “We give you an opportunity to leave the market with your gear or funds so help us to achieve that.”
“It has been a great pleasure to work with most vendors and users. We are aware that we leave quite a big gap in darknet markets but we hope most of you will find a new home…
Please give a chance to the smaller markets, which are not that loud as others. This is exactly how we became no 1 – being quiet and doing our job, serving customers 24/7 for 675 fucking days.” – mrblonde, ToRReZ admin
ToRReZ broke new ground in the operation of darknet markets by doing things differently from the competition: they supported 2/3 multisig for Bitcoin transactions and allowed vendors to accept up to 4 different cryptos for payment (BTC, XMR, LTC, and ZEC). Since inception, the market claimed to be “the first community-driven market,” encouraging users to submit their feedback on how to make it more effective.
The market enjoyed a slow-and-steady rise to fame across the course of its near-two years in existence, receiving its first big clearnet mention shortly after the six-month mark of its operation.
The trend of gentle market closures – which could be considered “retirements” – is an affair that has thus far been unique to 2021, with most prior darknet market closures tending to be more violent, sinister or at the very least, unexplained in nature.