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M00nkey Market Review

Is it a gorilla, is it a chimpanzee? No it's M00nkey Market. It's not the 'key' to the moon, but rather a monkey on the moon instead. Not to be confused with Monkey Market, given the presence of the 00s. Anyway, back to the review. M00nkey Market came onto the darknet scene in the spring of 2023, featuring a bright and catchy branding designed to grab your attention. But what lies behind the bright and colorful display? Does M00nkey Market have a bright and bold future, and does it meet the standards of a modern market? We'll tell you!

Disclaimer: Torhoo takes zero responsibility should you choose to use M00nkey Market for any form of transaction. All information provided by Torhoo is for educational and research purposes only and is not intended to promote any activity that may be illegal in your country.

M00nkey Market key information:

Registration / login process:
After getting past the familiar and simple clock captcha screen, you will need to create a new account in order to access M00nkey Market. Luckily this is very simple. Enter a username (that you will use for logging in), a 4 digit PIN (an additional security measure for purchases and withdrawals), a public username (that can be seen by others and must be different from your login name), then finally choose a password. You can also enter a referral code if you have one, but this is entirely optional. Once the sign up process is complete, a mnemonic code is provided in case you need to recover from account in future due to a forgotten password. Make sure you keep it safe as you'll only be shown it once and there's no other way to recover your account.

After signing in, you will be met by a rather colorful home page. Hope you like purple! Of course you do, you're on Torhoo! We love purple here! The layout will be pleasantly familiar to darknet veterans, whilst being relatively intuitive to newbies. There's no doubt that the layout bears resemblence to the original AlphaBay, and various other popular markets that followed such as Empire Market, or active markets such as WeTheNorth which have adopted a very similar layout. But one could argue, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

That's not to say that M00nkey Market doesn't go a lot further than these past and present markets however, with an expanded array of features designed to enhance the user experience and provide superior security (such as the encrypted messaging system which we'll cover later).

M00nkey Market Rules:
Buyers and vendors are provided with a detailed list of rules which must be abided by when using M00nkey Market. This includes stipulations around behaviour ('buyers may not send any insults or harass other users') and a zero tolerance to the sale of weapons, CP content etc.

There's a no nonsense approach when it comes to dealing with disputes: Decisions regarding disputes are final, non-negotiable, and cannot be challenged. Our platform operates as a dictatorship that seeks to do what is best for the collective good. Therefore, please accept our decisions or seek services elsewhere.

Strict (but fair in our view) rules exist for vendors also such as mandatory PGP 2FA (a must on any modern market), no off-market trading (to protect buyers from scams over Wickr, Telegram, Session etc.) and no duplication of listings (to help keep the market tidy and improve the buyer experience). Nothing objectionable here in our view.

By default most vendors will be required to use escrow, meaning funds are held by the market for a period of 4 days for digital listings and 14 days for physical listings. However, vendors with 500+ sales on other reputable markets, alongside excellent feedback, are eligible for Finalize Early (FE) status. FE vendors will receive payment immediately, so be aware of this when making a purchase. Buyers have the option to extend escrow by 7 days as needed (for escrow listings only of course), to reduce the need for disputes and allow more time to communicate with vendors in the event of an issue such as a delivery delay. Established vendors who can prove their history can join the platform for free, and early adopters of the market can join for a vendor bond of just $100 (this will increase as the market grows in size).

Searching for products:
Searching for a product is simple. Start by either by selecting a category, or narrow it down far more by using the Advanced Products Search menu, which can be found underneath the categories list on the left hand side of the home page. This allows you to search by the name of the product, price range, category, subcategory, shipping from, and shipping to locations. More than a sufficient filters to easily find what you're looking for.

Results are displayed in grid format which contains all the key information about a product such as a thumbnail image. Within each grid you'll find a brief product description, fiat price (in any of the 5 local currencies which you can select in your account settings) price in cryptocurrency, shipping locations, whether the item is Escrow or FE, and of course the name of the vendor. This generous amount of information makes searching through large numbers of products a breeze.

Product information:
Each product listing page provides photos of the product (multiple in some cases), a detailed description of the product, the refund policy, shipping options, price and more. Previous feedback received from other buyers is displayed in star ratings against quality, delivery and stealth, and buyers can also leave written comments. This feedback can be extremely helpful as a guide for making a purchasing decision. Feedback is displayed with the most recent at the top, so it's easy to see how time relevant it is. You can also add a product to your wishlist to come back to it later. The wishlist is easily accessible via the 'Orders' tab at the top of the market.

Want to learn more about a specific vendor before deciding whether to purchase a product from them? All you need to do is click on their name at top right of the listing, then from this page you can view feedback from across their entire product range. For some established vendors, feedback has been imported from other established markets such as ASAP. This is clearly labelled as 'Imported Feedback' so there's absolute transparency in this regard. This is a refreshing change of approach from some other shady markets that have attempted to make their market look larger than it is using this practice. Vendors can also be added to favorites which can be accessed under the 'Account' tab in the header, which is a real time saver if you want to find them again without having to carry out a full search.

Purchasing a product:
M00nkey Market uses a traditional wallet-based system so you need to first deposit funds to the market wallet before you can make a purchase. Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR) are both supported, although individual vendors have flexibility about which of these they opt for support. The vast majority of vendors we could find supported both however, but we advise checking before depositing to be sure. Monero is fast, has lower transaction fees and is the safest, so we always recommend this. Each listing tells you what the actual price in Bitcoin or Monero will be, but due to crypto fluctuation, we recommending always sending a few percent more than you need. Don't forget to factor in shipping costs (where applicable).

Before depositing any cryptocurrency to the market wallet, we strongly advise you to double check that you're not on a phishing site. Compare your onion link against those listed on Torhoo or one of M00nkey Market's official partners such as Tor.Fish. Note that links obtained from the rotating mirror site will vary constantly, with new mirrors being generated every 45 minutes (just make sure it came from M00nkey Market's official clearnet rotation site, as listed at the top of this review). Once you've done your due dilligence, send funds to the wallet address provided in the wallet section of your account. You'll soon see a notification that a deposit is incoming (note this can take a little while to display). Once the deposit has sufficient confirmations and is credited to your account, you can proceed with a purchase. Select the item you want from the product page, choose the cryptocurrency you wish to pay in, shipping option and quantity, then click 'Checkout'.

Once you're at the checkout screen, you will need to provide your address, alongside any other notes. These will be auto-encrypted by the market, but we strongly recommend that you always encrypt messages yourself, since auto-encrypt functions have left buyers vulnerable in the past. Reliance on auto-encryption caused many buyers to be de-anonymised during the takeover of Hansa Market by law enforcement. By encrypting messages yourself, you're guaranteeing that they can only be read by the intended recipient. If you're not yet familar with PGP encryption, we have a detailed guide on how to use PGP.

Once your order has been submitted to the vendor, it will appear in your 'orders' menu. Once the vendor accepts, ships or cancels the order, you will receive a notification and the status will be updated here. M00nkey Market's escrow times are 14 days for physical listings or 4 days for digital listings, unless the vendor has FE status, in which case payment is made as soon the vendor accepts the order. Only buy FE listings from vendors you trust. Once your order has arrived, you can then mark it as received and leave feedback for the seller. In the event of an issue, you have the option to extend the escrow window once by 7 days, or if your order still hasn't arrived once the remaining time has almost elapsed, you can raise a dispute which will then be reviewed by market moderators. We always recommend messaging a vendor before disputing any order. Reputable vendors will always try their best to resolve the situation with you in the first instance to avoid the need of going through the dispute process.

BCrypt secure messaging:
M00nkey Market has gone beyond what many markets offer by having a built-in BCrypt secure messaging system within the messages area. When sending a message to communicate with vendors (to ask about more details of a product or late shipment for example), the Bcrypt system encrypts the message using the password of the user as the decryption key. This therefore requires the user to reinput their login password to view a message each time, although the market will remember this per login session. The market claims this ensures that all messages are fully encrypted within the database, providing a strong level of protection in the rare event that the market should be compromised for any reason, such as happened with Hansa Market in the past.

We still strongly advise encrypting messages yourself if sending any sensitive information as this will provide a guaranteed level of protection, but given that many users still don't properly utilise PGP encryption (either due to lack of technical ability or through laziness), anything that provides added security for users has to be a welcome feature. We therefore commend M00nkey Market for making the effort to implement this.

Conclusions on M00nkey Market:
  • Familiar, colorful and intuitive interface
  • Support for both Bitcoin and Monero
  • A strong suite of security features
  • Employee mode for vendors, allowing them to delegate limited access to multiple people to carry out certain tasks such as responding to messages
  • No walletless / direct pay
  • Withdrawals are processed manually which means longer waits for users and vendors (claimed 4-6 hours wait on average).
  • Use of custom fonts for some logos can lead to some minor graphical issues when using the Tor Browser on the 'safest' setting.
Having launched with a range of features that matches and in some cases exceeds many established markets, it's clear to us that M00nkey Market clearly has a skilled and professional team behind it (this certainly can't be said of all markets). Time will tell how successfully it is able to compete in an increasingly large pool of markets, but it certainly manages to differentiate itself in a number of ways, not least its colorful and eye catching design. Is M00nkey Market so simple to use that a monkey could use it? Well, as they say, 'given an infinite amount of time a monkey could write the complete works of Shakespeare'. On that basis, sure a monkey could likely place an order on it eventually. But in these days of advanced AI, that would seem rather inefficient we think. What we can say with some certainty is that M00nkey Market wasn't created by monkeys, unless of course one of those happened to be Mojo Jojo?