This article will teach you all you need to know to connect to the Abacus darknet market.
Abacus Market is a new darknet market that began as AlphaBet in early 2020. The market was renamed Abacus to avoid confusion with the recently renovated AlphaBay, and it has since outgrown AlphaBay. It currently has about 21,000 listings, including a large number of ads for medications and pharmaceuticals. The market also has a sizable section for digital goods. Signing up for Abacus Market is a bit of a headache compared to others, but it has enough features to make veteran market users feel at ease.
Abacus is designed after the old AlphaBay, which the admins describe as “the most welcoming and intuitive interface that the darknet has ever seen.” At the same time, they say that the market has been created fully from scratch and built from the bottom up. Abacus is similar to AlphaBay, however it incorporates several modern features, including as support for XMR and BTC multisig transactions and the ability to discriminate different levels of FE (100%, 75%, 50%, and 25% of payment FE’d upon delivery).
Abacus Market appears to be very open in terms of what they will allow to be listed, with the exception of barring fentanyl (and the typical blacklisted products). They are one of the last large markets to have a massive part dedicated to fraudulently obtained data, such as personal information, credit cards, and various data dumps. Thousands of additional digital things are also available on the market, some of which may be difficult to find elsewhere. It also claims to provide “24/7” user support, though we didn’t have time to put that to the test.
Aside from significantly copying from the template of the world’s most prominent darknet marketplaces, Abacus has a few other issues that should not be overlooked. For one thing, the captcha system it deploys is harsh and tough to pass. The lack of direct (per-order) payment options, as well as the near total reliance on the traditional market escrow mechanism, is somewhat aggravating. Because it’s difficult to locate a vendor ready to take BTC multisig escrow, everyone is at the mercy of the market to do the right thing. Aside from these flaws, Abacus appears to be a perfectly fit darknet market, and it has actually surged in popularity in recent months.
Abacus Market Fundamentals
- Abacus Market link: abacusnoepyuw5qqq5ymqsz56eh7eggxibpst3hve5siimmtz5kydtyd.onion
- Year founded: 2021
- Cryptocurrencies accepted: Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR)
- Total Product/Service listings: 21,000+
- Listing Categories: Drugs & Chemicals, Counterfeit Items, Digital Products, Fraud, Guides & Tutorials, Jewels & Gold, Carded Items, Services, Software & Malware, Security & Hosting, Other Listings
- Multi-signature escrow? Yes
- Finalize Early? Yes
- Cost of vendor bond: $300 (waived for established vendors)
Prior to Beginning
Before attempting to use Abacus Market or any other darknet market, you must have a basic awareness of the following topics:
- Tor. You must have the Tor browser installed and understand how to utilize it to maximize your online privacy.
- Cryptocurrency. You must be familiar with how to transfer, receive, and store cryptocurrency, namely Bitcoin and Monero. We encourage learning how to utilize Monero and depositing it because of the obvious advantages its obscured blockchain has over Bitcoin.
- OpSec. You must be conversant with the concept of Operations Security, abbreviated as OpSec. This entails severing any links between your offline and online personas. Never deposit crypto to your market account directly from an exchange as an example of OpSec.
Please note: This guide is intended for research purposes only and should not be taken as legal or other advice. The authors of this handbook do not support unlawful conduct in your jurisdiction or others. You use the information in this guide and/or Abacus Market at your own risk.
Don’t Be Duped
As Abacus Market has grown in popularity in recent months, many imitators are now attempting to deceive customers into depositing dollars on a phony site. These are phishing sites, and they frequently catch individuals who find their links on Reddit or market lists from dubious sources. To avoid this, we recommend utilizing the same URL each time and never searching for links on the internet at random.
Making an Account
After you’re certain you’ve found and opened a legitimate market link, you’ll need to complete an especially vexing captcha, as the market is frequently the target of DDOS attacks. When you initially arrive at the login screen, go to the Register tab and click it to begin the process of creating an account. The account creation screen appears a little more complex than most:
The most important aspect of the login process is that it is timed, with only 2 minutes before the captcha expires and you have to type everything again. Fill out all of the essential fields:
- Private Username: this is the username you will log into the market with.
- Public Username: this is the name that will be displayed on your market account for vendors to see.
- Password(twice): We recommend a minimum of 8 characters, preferably a random combination of letters, numbers, and special symbols (never re-use an old password on a darknet market).
- PIN (twice): a 6-digit code you will need to enter to confirm a purchase.
- Login Phrase: a word that will be displayed to you each time you search in the market, so you know you’ve arrived at the proper place (and not a phishing site).
Keep in mind that if you do not enter the above information before the captcha expires, you will have to re-type it. You will be returned to the login screen after continuing. You can now log in using your personal username and password. You’ll be welcomed with a mnemonic, which is a string of letters and numbers, after logging in.
Follow the advice in the screenshot above, as you will not be able to retrieve your account without this mnemonic. After you’ve saved it and pasted it into the text field, click “Continue.” After completing the account registration process, you will be able to begin browsing the market.
Making a PGP Key
To connect with other market participants, you must attach a PGP public key to your account. To do so, go to the top-center Profile tab and scroll down past the profile information text box (which we recommend you keep blank) until you see the Security Settings text box. This is where you’ll paste your PGP public key, which should look something like this when typed correctly:
Before proceeding, enter your PIN above the text area. If you scroll down a little, you’ll see the following options (we explain what each one implies below):
- 2FA: Each time you want to log into the market, enable or disable the requirement of message decryption using your matching PGP private key.
- Purchases 1: Turn on or off your account’s capacity to make purchases. In order to alter this option, you must first decrypt a message.
- Purchases 2: Turn the requirement of PIN entry to make a purchase on or off.
Once you’re satisfied with your options, click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the screen to proceed. You will then be returned to the Profile screen, where you will see a new notification that states “Your profile was modified.” Still, you must decrypt the message below in order to validate and store your new PGP.” To do do, return to the Security Settings section and locate the encrypted message. Copy the message’s whole contents, decrypt it with your PGP program, then paste the decrypted contents into the text box below. When pasted, the code should look like this:
Before proceeding, remember to re-enter your PIN, just like you did when configuring the PGP key. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and select “Save Changes” after entering your PIN. If you input the code properly, you will be returned to the top of the profile screen with the message “Your profile was updated.”
Take note of the other options in the profile area. Remember that this is also where you will enter your Bitcoin public key for multisig escrow (if you locate a merchant that offers that option) and refund address. You may also modify your password, PIN, theme preferences, and search settings from here.
Making a Down Payment
Abacus Market accepts deposits in both Bitcoin and Monero. We advocate sticking with Monero due to its privacy-enhanced blockchain, but there may be times when Bitcoin is better appropriate (multisig escrow transactions, for example, which are supported by Abacus). We also advise against depositing more than is required for a single transaction. Losses are minimized in this manner if the market falls for whatever reason.
To make a deposit, go to the upper middle of the page and select “Wallets.” This will display your BTC and XMR deposit addresses, with the BTC address being displayed by default.
Simply switch to the Monero page to make an XMR deposit. Before making a deposit, carefully read the instructions. It is important to note that each address is only valid for one deposit, and fresh addresses are produced automatically when the first deposit is confirmed. BTC deposits take three network confirmations before they appear in your balance, whereas XMR deposits require “many transactions” (usually about half an hour minimum). Withdrawals on Abacus Market are also allowed for a modest cost.
Exploring the Abacus Market
Abacus is one of the larger darknet markets currently in existence, with about 12,000 items in the Drugs & Chemicals area alone (which accounts for nearly half of the market’s current listings). After a recent wave of closures left many vendors without a place to live, the market has managed to recruit quite a few vendors. Vendors serve customers from all over the world, with many offering global shipping.
Abacus items are classified into the following categories (and subcategories):
- Drugs (Benzos, Cannabis & Hashish, Dissociatives, Ecstasy, Opioids, Paraphernalia, Prescription, Psychedelics, Steroids, Stimulants, Tobacco, Weight Loss, Other)
- Counterfeit Items (Clothing, Electronics, Jewelry, Money, Fake IDs, Other)
- Digital Products (E-Books, Erotica, Fraud Software, Game Keys, Legit Software, Other)
- Fraud (Accounts & Bank Drops, CVV & Cards, Dumps, Personal Information & Scans, Other)
- Guides & Tutorials (Drugs, Fraud, Hacking, Security & Anonymity, Social Engineering, Other)
- Jewels & Gold (Gold, Silver, Other)
- Carded Items (Appliances, Clothing, Digital, Electronics, Other)
- Services (Social Engineering, Carding, Other)
- Software & Malware (Botnets & Malware, Exploits, Exploit Kits, Security Software, Other)
- Security & Hosting (Hosting, VPN, Socks, Shells, Cpanels, Other)
- Other Listings
This market has a fantastic assortment of search and filter capabilities to make it even easier to find the item you’re looking for. Filtering options include vendor name, ships to/from, category (including multiple categories), product type, and price range. They can also be filtered by currency, FE vs. escrow orders, and multisig options. The results can then be sorted using a variety of criteria.
Listing previews provide a wealth of information without requiring a click:
Here we can view relevant item characteristics like as the price in BTC and XMR, ships from/to information, quantity remaining for sale, feedback statistics, and the vendor’s “Level,” which is assigned based on their level of experience. This seller has also gained the market’s Trusted accreditation by completing a large number of sales with a high positive feedback rate. By selecting “View Item,” you can learn more about it:
Here we get a more detailed description of the listing, as well as additional images (if any), and a detailed breakdown of the vendor’s experience. We can see that the vendor has 73 total sales on Abacus Market, with this product accounting for 0 of them. This seller also has a lot of prior experience in other marketplaces, where they executed a total of 3454 sales, 98% of which received excellent feedback. Finally, the vendor’s delivery options are visible.
Scrolling down exposes three more tabs: Description, Feedback, and Refund Policy. When working with a vendor for the first time, we recommend reading through the Feedback and Refund Policy tabs. This will assist you understand what they want from you and what you should expect from them when placing an order. Take a moment to read the refund policy as well to avoid future complications with disputes.
Clicking on a vendor’s name will provide additional information about them.
We can see important information about the vendor here, such as a breakdown of their positive, neutral, and negative reviews, the number of disputes they’ve had (and the outcome), whether they are FE enabled, their join date, last time online, average processing time, and customer ratings for stealth, quality, and delivery. We recommend always going with experienced merchants, especially if you have a choice, as this might mean the difference between a good and a bad darknet market experience. You want a vendor who has done this before and knows what they’re doing. Allow the newcomers to make their first sales with other purchasers.
Making a Purchase
After you’ve discovered an item you want to buy and selected your preferred shipping method and quantity, click “Buy” after ensuring you have the required amount of currency in your account balance. If the amount is covered by your balance, you will be taken to the checkout screen. You will enter your encrypted shipping information here. Make sure to encrypt this information with the vendor’s PGP key. Failure to do so is a major no-no and is considered a major violation of OpSec.
You’re now ready to place the order after double-checking that your shipping information is encrypted. The vendor will be alerted and will begin shipment preparations. When the item is received and the customer determines it is satisfactory, they finish the order, releasing the cash to the seller. It is regarded customary darknet market etiquette to complete an order immediately after receipt and examination, rather than leaving it dangling and waiting for auto-finalization. If this is a FE order, make sure to indicate it as finalized as soon as the vendor confirms shipment.
If you receive your order and decide it is not to your liking – or if you never receive it at all – you can file a dispute. This will prompt the market to investigate the incident and determine whether the buyer is due a refund. Disputes may be a lose-lose situation for both parties involved, which is why we recommend first attempting to address an issue with the vendor before resorting to the dispute process. Professional vendors understand the value of having a good reputation in the community and will go out of their way to ensure their customers are satisfied, so try to engage with them first before registering a dispute.
Abacus Market url: abacusnoepyuw5qqq5ymqsz56eh7eggxibpst3hve5siimmtz5kydtyd.onion
Despite shaky beginnings and accusations of ripping off AlphaBay, Abacus Market has subsequently risen in scale to rival its inspiring competitors, gaining from the shutdown of prominent markets such as White House and ToRReZ. The market isn’t perfect because it largely uses the typical market escrow mechanism, but it does provide a lot of freedom in terms of browsing that other markets don’t. Abacus administrators are also present on the Dread forum on a regular basis, ready to answer inquiries and handle concerns among their members.
As long as basic safeguards are taken, Abacus appears to be a respectable darknet market that has come a long way. It may draw criticism for its large number of data-related listings, but for the time being, it is one of the world’s largest darknet markets.