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Amid a growing wave of cryptocurrency seizures and government cybercrime crackdowns, Russian authorities have taken down massive swaths of the illicit credit card market as the nation looks to bolster legal cryptocurrency adoption, shutting down four sites this week that together have pulled in hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale of stolen credit cards, according to cybersecurity firm Elliptic.


Four illicit websites seized by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs on Monday made more than $263 million in cryptocurrency proceeds from the sale of stolen credit cards, representing roughly one fifth of the global market for illicit cards, according to an Elliptic analysis released Wednesday.

Among sites taken down, Ferum Shop was the world’s largest marketplace for stolen credit cards, making an estimated $256 million in bitcoin since its launch in 2013, according to Elliptic, while marketplace Trump’s Dumps, which infamously used former President Donald Trump’s likeness to help sell raw magnetic strip data from stolen cards, raked in about $4.1 million since 2017.

Notices posted on both websites Wednesday morning warned users that the platforms had been seized by police and were pending criminal investigations, while in another seized marketplace, dubbed SkyFraud, Russian authorities left an emoji load message buried in the sites’ source code teasing, “ Which of you is next?”

Investigators on Monday asked a Moscow court to arrest six members of an unnamed hacking group for allegedly circulating illegal “means of payment,” according to state-owned Russian news agency Tass, but it’s still unclear whether the suspects are directly linked to the dark web credit card sites.

The seizures come less than a month after Russian authorities seized the then largest illicit credit card dealer, UniCC, which facilitated some $358 million in transactions over nine years.

According to Elliptic, closures and seizures of carding sites this year have already accounted for almost 50% of sales in the Dark Web market for stolen credit cards—part of a broader slowdown in illicit Dark Web activity as tightening cryptocurrency regulation makes it more difficult to laundry funds.