The Complete Monopoly Market Guide

In this essay, we will explain how to join to Monopoly, one of the darknet’s most popular markets.

Monopoly, a drugs-only darknet market, was established in July 2019. It has remained on the tiny side, with just over 1,000 postings, but it has amassed a strongly dedicated userbase over the past two years. Monopoly vendors serve almost every region of the globe and are rewarded with specialized flair based on their performance. Buyers are not required to create an account, unlike in most other exchanges. Instead, clients are presented with two payment options: Escrow and Direct Deal. Both sidestep the typical account wallet structure, requiring simply one payment per order.

One of the intriguing aspects about Monopoly is that they go to great lengths to ensure the safety of its users. This may appear to be nagging, as they are continually warning users to avoid non-verified links, but they have apparently received a large number of complaints in the past from people who were accidentally phished. Monopoly’s mirrors vary frequently, but having their main link is all you need (for the time being).

The market’s operators appear to go above and above in terms of explaining exactly how things work, which is appreciated, but they also warn users: “If you cannot troubleshoot, then you should not be doing this.” We cannot but agree with them. This is not a market for beginners, but rather for individuals that know exactly what they’re doing and are ready to go in and out quickly.

Another feature that distinguishes them from other darknet markets is that they provide all vendor stats on a simple Vendors page, making it very easy to check where a particular dealer stands among the rest. They even provide additional information about each vendor under a unique “Trust Scan” tab located on each listing page. We appreciate that the market goes out of its way to bring as much transparency as possible. We also like how Monopoly has a captcha technique that is both distinctive and simple (if you’re not a robot).

The Fundamentals of the Monopoly Market

  • Total Product/Service listings: ~1,200
  • Listing Categories: Benzos, Cannabis, Dissociatives, Ecstasy, Pharmaceuticals, Psychedelics, Steroids, Stimulants
  • Multi-signature escrow? No
  • Finalize Early? No
  • Cost of vendor bond: None (application process)

Prior to Beginning

Before you attempt to use Monopoly or other darknet market, you need be conversant with a basic technical principles. If you are unfamiliar with these terms in the context of darknet markets, become acquainted with them.

  • The Tor browser. You must know how to operate the Tor browser and use it in a way so that it does not compromise your OpSec, or Operations Security.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR). You must know the basics of cryptocurrency transacting, which include sending and receiving coins like BTC and XMR. We recommend using Monero when given the opportunity as it is much harder to follow on the blockchain and therefore less subject to analysis.
  • PGP encryption/decryption. You will need to know how to generate a PGP key pair in order to post your PGP public key when placing orders. You’ll also need to know how to encrypt messages using the PGP key of vendors and decrypt messages sent to you encrypted with your public key.
  • Blockchain OpSec. According to the Monopoly admins themselves, they receive “hundreds” of orders each week from users who make payments directly from a crypto exchange. This is a big no-no as it creates a link between your real-world identity and darknet market activity. It is especially worrisome for users who have provided these exchanges with their personal information.

Basically, you should never send money directly from an exchange to a darknet market (or vendor), not even Monero. Make at least one jump between the exchange and the market, as this permits plausible deniability to enter should you ever be questioned, God forbid. If you’re not sure what excellent “blockchain OpSec” means, Monopoly provides “How to Clean Your Cryptocurrency” instructions for both BTC and XMR.

Monopoly is not intended to be a market for darknet newcomers who are just getting their feet wet in the scene for the first time. Instead, its participants are expected to know exactly what they are doing, therefore we advise against diving in headfirst. Take the time to ask questions if you don’t grasp something. For that kind of thing, the Dread forum’s Monopoly page is a wonderful place to start. Monopoly’s website has a comprehensive Getting Started page with FAQs and how-tos. We urge that you thoroughly read it before placing your first order on the market.

Disclaimer: This guide is intended solely for research purposes and is not intended to provide legal or other advice. Its writers do not support illegal acts in your jurisdiction. Use the information in this guide and/or the Monopoly market at your own risk.

Making an Account

There is no need to make an account on Monopoly if you are a buyer. You can begin surfing the market right immediately. When placing an order, you are only asked to enter a PGP public key rather than a login and password. When placing an order, you will also be required to encrypt shipping details with the vendor’s PGP key.

Making a PGP Key

Because Monopoly does not employ a standard account structure (as previously stated), you must submit your PGP public key each time you place an order on the market. In the Placing an Order section below, we describe how to achieve this.

Making a Down Payment

Similar to the PGP key issue, while paying for an order, you will just need to transmit cryptocurrency. Monero (XMR) and Bitcoin (BTC) are both supported by Monopoly, and most businesses take both. In the Placing an Order section below, we explain how to pay for your orders.

Exploring Monopoly Market

Monopoly is a delight to peruse since it is straightforward, well-organized, and visually appealing. Because it is a drugs-only market, it does not suffer from the clutter issues that many other markets do. Instead, each category is conveniently subdivided, and because the market is limited, the modest filter choices presented at the top of each listings page is unnecessary.

Monopoly’s categories (and subcategories) include the following:

  • Benzos (Pills, Powder, RC, Other)
  • Cannabis (Buds & Flower, Shake, CBD, Concentrates, Carts, Hash, Edibles, Other)
  • Dissociatives (Ketamine, MXE, GHB, Other)
  • Ecstasy (Pills, MDMA, MDA, Methylone & BK, Other)
  • Pharmaceuticals (Genuine, Generics, Other)
  • Psychedelics (LSD, Shrooms, DMT, 2C-B, Other)
  • Steroids (Genuine, Counterfeit, Other)
  • Stimulants (Speed, Meth, Cocaine, Mephedrone, Crack, Other)

Cannabis is the most popular category on Monopoly, with around 700 items on any given day. This accounts for almost two-thirds of all listings in the market. It also has a limited assortment of mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs, as well as medications. The market prefers not to be connected with heroin, fentanyl, and non-medicinal analogs, hence an Opiates section is conspicuously absent from Monopoly. There are some opioid drugs in the Pharmaceuticals area, but it’s evident that the market doesn’t want its vendors selling the tougher things.

Before making a purchase, Monopoly goes out of its way to offer the buyer with all of the information they need about a listing and its vendor. For example, clicking on a listing displays the following information:

We may see the following information here:

  • Product quantities (gram denominations)
  • Vendor name (total sales, vendor level, tot. disputes, vendor status)
  • Listing Open Orders, Sales, Views, Age, Stock, Origin, Ships To, Payment Methods
  • Item description

Beneath this we see a series of tabs:

  • Order. Use this tab to specify the conditions of your order (open by default).
  • Reviews. Read the reviews left by other people who have purchased this item.
  • Trust Scan. This is a novel feature by Monopoly that provides an overall summary of a vendor’s activity on the market. You can see a bunch of useful information about them here to help get an idea of their trustworthiness and competency as a vendor. Some of the stats included are their average Stealth rating, handling, and response time, and even how many of their delivery trackings have been marked as successful (as opposed to “failed”).
  • Refund policy. Self-explanatory, but necessary to check before placing an order with a vendor for the first time.
  • PGP. Contains the vendor’s PGP public key. You can use this to encrypt shipping information, and it is also available upon order checkout.

To browse the market by vendor, select the Vendor option at the top of the screen. This is a Monopoly-specific feature that provides some intriguing comparative details into the market’s providers.

Vendors are listed alphabetically, making it simple to discover those with extensive experience (this may be a good indicator as to if they know what they are doing or not). Each vendor’s “Performance” (good vs. negative evaluations, plus disputes), Listings, Sales, and Open Orders can be viewed.

The Monopoly admins understand that a vendor’s reputation is essential when it comes to making it on a darknet market and have put a number of incentives in place to encourage good service. They’ve also seen it all in terms of buyer level experience, and they don’t appear to tolerate customers who don’t know what they’re doing.

Making a Purchase

When you’ve identified an item you want to buy, click on it to bring up its listing page, then scroll down until you see the Order tab’s contents.

First, choose the pre-specified product amount you want to buy, as well as the quantity and shipping choice. We urge that you utilize the “Enable PGP 2FA” option (change from “No” to “Yes”) because it is the only way for the market and/or vendor to validate that you are who you say you are if problems arise. If you require assistance using this function, click the red “Help” button located next to the option title.

Below this, you’ll find text boxes where you may enter your PGP public key (on the left) and encrypted shipping details (right). When the boxes are correctly filled, they will appear like this:

To begin, enter your PGP public key into the left box. Then, next to the Your Delivery Info section, click the “Download” button to download the vendor’s PGP key (you don’t need to do this if you’ve already imported the key into your PGP client). These keys can be readily imported into a client like Kleopatra, which speeds up the encryption process. Next, choose a payment method (BTC or XMR), a payment type (described below), and a refund address (address to refund your payment in case it needs to be refunded).

As previously stated, Monopoly does not employ the standard market account structure. Instead, they provide two payment options:

  • Escrow. You are supplied with an order payment address and amount. After receiving payment, the market will notify the vendor to begin preparing the order and hold the funds in escrow until you have marked the order as complete (finalized).
  • Direct Deal. Similar to escrow, you send an exact amount of coin to an address representing the order, but the funds are in control of the vendor instead of the market. This option is reserved for vendors who have an established history of good dealing on the market.

Some suppliers accept both Direct Deal and Escrow payments. Some of those that do will give you a discount if you choose Direct Deal. When interacting with a seller for the first time, we recommend that you use the Escrow option. If a Direct Deal-enabled vendor turns out to be a fraudster, or if a conflict arises in which you believe you should be repaid, you will be unable to recover your money from them.

After you’ve chosen Direct Deal or Escrow and filled out all of the other fields, click on the broken circle underneath to answer the captcha and go to the next phase of the order placement. Your order is now being processed. On Monopoly, each order is allocated an order code, which is a long string of numbers. You should save this code because it is the only way to get information on the status of your order. After saving it somewhere safe, proceed by clicking the “I have saved my order code” button at the bottom of the screen.

Please keep in mind that you can use your order code to check the progress of your order at any time after it has been paid for.

You will then be asked to validate your PGP key by decrypting a specific code that has been encrypted with it (if you enabled PGP 2-FA as recommended). Copy the contents of the 2FA Verification box, decrypt it with the private key that corresponds to the public key you entered earlier in your order, then paste the decrypted contents into the box below. This is what it should look like:

Finally, click “Verify” to proceed. Following that, you’ll be sent to the payment placement screen, which looks like this:

For your order to be formally placed, you will have 12 hours to submit the precise payment to the deposit address provided. Below this, the relevant information is provided again, along with two boxes into which you can enter information to confirm with the market that you have truly completed your transaction.

Following the recommendations in the warning is a good idea, particularly for XMR newcomers. When you create and send a transaction, your Monero wallet records and provides you with the transaction’s ID (TX ID) and view key (TX Key). Paste these values into their respective boxes, then click “Confirm Payment.” If your payment is validated by the Monero network, the market will send the information to the vendor, who will begin preparing your order.

At any moment, you can check the status of an order by entering the Order Code into the box in the upper-right corner on most displays. Please keep in mind that suppliers have a set period of time to prepare and ship your item; once completed, your order status will be updated as “Shipped.” Your order will then be on its way to you. If you received it and found the product to your liking, don’t forget to conclude the order and release the funds to the vendor if you paid with Escrow. You will not be needed to take any additional action if you paid a Direct Deal payment. If no action is taken by the customer, orders will auto-finalize after 30 days.

Because it is not always simple to contact with vendors due to the lack of accounts for buyers, we recommend only purchase from trustworthy suppliers with well-established histories. This refers to merchants who have made hundreds (or thousands) of sales with extremely few negative ratings or disputes. Using only the most experienced vendors reduces the possibility of things going wrong, as well as the necessity to communicate with them (it’s always preferable if you don’t have to).

There is a Dispute system in place on Monopoly, however we recommend avoiding using it by following our tip directly above. This market’s administrator most likely does not tolerate idiots; a title dispute moderators may find appropriate for all new members who have yet to understand the vital things on their own.

Conclusion

In summary, Monopoly is a small-to-mid-sized darknet market that has been active for little more than two years. By requiring PGP encryption of shipping information, the market stresses security and OpSec, and the Direct Deal payment method suggests that they are interested in looking beyond the typical exit scamming operation. The market’s user interface is appealing, and the lack of clutter makes it simple to find what one is looking for. Support for XMR is also a significant benefit, as is the fact that you don’t need to create an account to explore or even buy on the market.

To be honest, Monopoly appears to be a legitimate, non-honeypot, non-scam company – if only because the market’s senior administrator appears to be a real jerk (and by that we mean a legitimately grumpy, scrooge-like person, which is what we want in a darknet market operator). The same jerk appears to really care about the safety and well-being of their market’s customers and sellers, and goes above and beyond to provide advice on how to have a successful experience.

We recommend visiting their Getting Started page for a collection of Monopoly-related information hosted by the market itself, which includes tips on PGP, Bitcoin, vendors, disputes, lost parcels, and much more. Monopoly’s page on the Dread forum has more information about subjects not discussed here or on the market.

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