Now slightly over a year old, ASAP Market opened its doors for business on March 1, 2020 under the name ASEAN Market. It has remained relatively under the radar for most darknet buyers and sellers, failing to really take off like others that swooped up new customers from recently closed markets. It did get listed on dark.fail in December 2020, which is definitely a badge of honor for a market as it means they are considered to be at least somewhat competent at what they do.
As of now, ASAP has about 6,000 listings, which puts it on the small end of darknet markets. The layout and theme for ASAP is pretty subdued compared to most other darknet markets. It uses a dark mode by default, which actually makes it quite easy on the eyes.
One thing we noticed right away is that ASAP is a very fickle market. Its main mirrors are often down and the rotating mirrors, well, rotate every 30 minutes, meaning you have to be in-and-out unless you don’t mind being logged out, finding a new mirror, and logging back in. Quite often the rotating mirrors are also down, which makes accessing the market frustrating. Whether the admins are doing too much or not enough to stop DDOS attacks is up for debate, but what’s for certain is that ASAP Market is probably not the place with little patience.
After you manage to arrive at a working mirror, you’ll only have 30 seconds to solve the captcha before it times out and you have to reload the page.
Interestingly, ASAP is one of the first markets (if not the first) to offer support for SegWit wallets. This means you can save money by sending from a SegWit wallet, which is especially handy when transaction fees are high. A few of the other unique features offered by ASAP include:
- Scam Hunter system. A market-built algorithm that seeks out buyer and seller behaviors that indicate a scam is taking place. Scammers caught using this system are excluded from participation and reported on various forums and subs.
- Fake Review Detector. As the name implies, this is another type of algorithm that is used by the market to find and weed out fake reviews. This makes vendor ratings more reliable.
- Special loyalty program. Those who are regular users of the market and have processed sizeable sales may be offered the opportunity to join a special market program via invite only. This includes a section available to invitees only and special deals not available to other users.
- Extra security options. In addition to the usual 2-FA option that many markets offer, ASAP also has authorization code (login) and secret phrase (account recovery) options.
For vendors, ASAP offers a flexible commission schedule. New and most other vendors will be charged 5% commission on each sale on the market, but more established and reputable vendors can negotiate commissions as low as 2%.
Quick Facts about ASAP Market
- Founded: 2020
- Number of listings: 6000+
- Listing categories: Stimulants, RCs, Cannabis & Hashish, Drug Paraphernalia, Steroids, Barbiturates, Fraud, Weight Loss, Ecstasy, Prescriptions, Opioids, Counterfeits, Dissociatives, Digital Goods, Benzos, Psychedelics
- Coins accepted: Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR)
- Multisignature escrow: No
- Finalize Early (FE) Allowed: Yes
- Vendor bond: $600
Before Getting Started
Before attempting to use ASAP Market or any other darknet market, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of the following subjects:
- how to create a PGP key pair, encrypt/decrypt messages using PGP, and verify signatures,
- how to transact in Bitcoin (BTC) or Monero (XMR), and
- how to use a Tor browser.
If you don’t know how to use PGP keys or generate a PGP key pair, you should stop and learn how to do that now as you won’t even be able to see the contents of the market until you have attached your PGP public key to your ASAP Market account. The market may seem strict in this way but this is ultimately to the benefit of everyone involved.
As far as using Monero is concerned, be sure to know how to successfully create a XMR transaction before attempting to send coins to or from your account. Never send XMR straight to a darknet market from an exchange as this creates a direct link between the market and your identity – especially if the exchange you purchased your XMR from has your personal details. Instead, send XMR to an intermediary, personal wallet from the exchange first. Then make the transaction to your ASAP Market XMR account.
– 1. Type “about:config” into your address bar.
– 2. Proceed through the warning and then click “Show All” to bring up configuration options.
– 4. Set “javscript.enabled” option to “false”.
You will now be ready to visit ASAP Market.
Don’t Get Phished
Don’t copy links found on the clearnet (regular internet) unless they are accompanied by a PGP-signed message from ASAP Market. The market website itself lists a few places where you can find reliable links to the market. They include darkfail (permanent mirrors) and darknetonions (rotating mirrors), which are both clearnet sites, but for OPSEC purposes we suggest you visit them using a VPN or Tor browser, anyway. Note that if you log in using one of the rotating mirrors, there’s a good chance that you will be logged out after 30 minutes as these links to the market change every 30 minutes.
How to Register an Account
After you have found an authentic market link (mirror), the first thing that you will need to do will be to fill out a unique captcha, which expires after 30 seconds. You will then be directed to the ASAP Market landing page, which looks like this:
Notice in the upper-right corner of the screen there is an option named “Register”. Click that button to start creating an account.
You will need to enter the following to create an account:
- User name: choose a unique username that cannot be associated with your real life identity or any of your online identities.
- Password: create a unique password that is preferably a random combination of numbers, letters and at least one special character, and don’t forget to store it in a secure place.
- PIN: create a 6-8 digit PIN number that will be used to confirm purchases and withdrawals.
The account creation screen will look like this when correctly filled:
Press the “Register” button when you have entered all your information. If everything goes according to plan, your account will be created, and you will be returned to the login screen with a message that says “Registration successful” at the top. From here, you will re-enter you username and password to log in to the market and be brought to the home page, which looks like this:
After logging in for the first time, you are now free to browse the market. However, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of before placing an order. The first of these is adding a PGP key to your account. To set your PGP key, hover over the “Profile” option in the upper right corner of the screen and click “Security”. There are a lot of security options on ASAP Market, but the one we are looking for right now can be found by scrolling down to the text box next to the words “PGP public key”. It is in this box where you will paste your PGP public key. It will look something like this when correctly filled:
After you have pasted your public key, check the “Enable 2FA” box if you want an extra bit of security when logging in (you will need to decrypt a message encrypted with your public key in order to log in). Then click “Change PGP/2FA” to continue. You will now be asked to decrypt a message in order to prove ownership of the public key you posted. Copy the PGP encrypted message and paste it into your PGP client. After decrypting the message, which is a string of numbers and letters, paste it onto the line that says “Verification token” under the text box with the encrypted message in it. It should look something like this when correctly filled:
When you are ready, press “Verify” to proceed. If you have entered the code correctly, you will be brought back to the top of the Security options page with a message that says “PGP/2FA settings changed successfully” at the top.
OPSEC tip: You will see that there is a place on your user Profile page where you can upload an avatar for your account. We recommend against doing this as it’s just another way in which your account can be tied to your identity or otherwise used against you. The same principle goes for adding anything potentially identifying in the “About” section of your profile: it’s better to leave it blank altogether.
Funding Your ASAP Market Account
The next thing you’ll need to do is fund your account; of course, you don’t have to do this before finding something worth purchasing on the market. ASAP uses the old-school central wallet system where each user is assigned a deposit address and all deposited funds are held by the market. This makes them more prone to hacking attempts and potentially exit scams, and the admins of ASAP itself recommend keeping coin balances in market accounts at a minimum when possible.
ASAP Market supports two coins as deposit options: Bitcoin (BTC) and Monero (XMR). Both have their pros and cons, but if you are a privacy-minded person and want to practice good OPSEC then it is recommended that you only deposit Monero to the market. This is because it is much harder to trace the origin and destination of funds with XMR as these details are not recorded to its blockchain. If you insist on using BTC, it is highly recommended that send BTC from a mixing service, like Wasabi Wallet or ChipMixer.
To fund your account with BTC, click the BTC balance directly to the left of your username. To deposit XMR, hover over the balance and then select the XMR option directly beneath the option for BTC. For the purposes of this guide, we will be demonstrating how to deposit BTC.
Here, you can see that the market has generated a BTC SegWit address to which funds for future orders will be deposited. You can see the address in text and QR code form, which makes it easy for paying from a mobile device. Once your incoming transaction has received 2 confirmations by the Bitcoin network, the amount will be credited to your account, and you can begin to place orders.
In order to prevent “dust attacks” (a way of potentially identifying information about addresses), ASAP will not credit deposits of less than 0.00025 BTC to your account. Sending an amount less than this to your address will result in a loss of funds.
Browsing ASAP Market
Listings at ASAP Market are divided into the following categories (along with their current counts):
The layout of ASAP is a bit different from most other markets which can make it confusing for first time visitors. While it’s nice that you can browse the market without being logged in, the way that listings are organized is a bit scattered (whether logged in or out of the market). The only upside to this is that ASAP doesn’t have a whole lot of listings, and their filtering system is good enough to narrow them down to products only relevant to you.
- Stimulants (700)
- RCs (10)
- Cannabis & Hashish (410)
- Drug Paraphernalia (5)
- Steroids (250)
- Barbiturates (5)
- Fraud (1060)
- Weight Loss (15)
- Ecstasy (250)
- Prescriptions (130)
- Opioids (250)
- Counterfeits (90)
- Dissociatives (210)
- Digital Goods (3110)
- Benzos (250)
- Psychedelics (360)
Here is a screenshot of the market landing page, after scrolling down past the phishing warning message:
Each listing on ASAP contains the following information:
- Vendor name
- Ships to/from
- Positive/Negative reviews
Perhaps the most important quality on ASAP Market is the vendor’s trust ratings, as the market doesn’t readily present a whole lot of information about a vendor’s total or individual sales. This means that you should definitely consider only placing orders with vendors who have multiples sales experiences under their belt – and positive ones at that. Clicking on a vendor name will bring up more information about them, including their feedback verified from other markets. Only place an order with zero feedback if you are feeling lucky.
Placing an Order
After you’ve found an item you wish to purchase and whose vendor ships to your area, click “Add to Basket” to begin the checkout process. You can add multiple items to your basket – it helps a lot with shipping if they are all for the same vendor – but for now we are showing you how to purchase a single item. Next, click the “Basket” tab toward the top center of the screen. It should have a “1” next to it, representing your one item:
From here you will review your order and change the quantity you wish to purchase, if necessary. You can also see the item cost in dollars, BTC and XMR. After reviewing the subtotal (before shipping fees are added), press the “Checkout” button toward the bottom to continue.
Next you will select your shipping option. Some vendors only offer one mode of shipping; some have several. Press “Update” if selecting an option different from the default. You will then have the option to choose which crypto you want to pay with (BTC or XMR). Note that the total amount to be paid for either coin can be seen just to the right of the currency selection box.
Beneath that is a text box to enter your shipping information. We highly recommend you self-encrypt this information using the vendor’s PGP key. To find this, right-click on the vendor name (displayed right above the currency selection box), open the vendor’s page in a new window, and then click the “PGP” tab beneath the vendor’s feedback info. Import the vendor’s public key into your PGP client, then encrypt your shipping information using the vendor’s key. The end result will look something like that is displayed above.
OPSEC tip: ASAP does provide a box you can tick if you want them to encrypt the shipping information for you, but we strongly recommend you do it on your own for best OPSEC practices.
After you’ve successfully pasted the encrypted shipping information, scroll down until you see the place to enter your PIN. Upon doing this and reviewing to make sure that everything else about the order is correct, press “Place Order”. At this point, the vendor will be alerted to your order and begin preparing it. After the order has been shipped, it will be marked as such, with this information being updated in the “Orders” tab in the header menu area.
Once you have received your product and determined it to be to your satisfaction, don’t forget to release the funds to the vendor. Doing this as prompt as possible is considered to be good darknet customer etiquette.
If, on the other hand, you don’t like your order or never receive it at all, it is possible to open a dispute which will be handled by a moderator. There isn’t much out there on what ASAP moderators are like – whether they are more likely to come down in the favor of the vendor or the customer – but our advice is to avoid having to deal with dispute resolution by lowering your chances of needing in the first place.
Finally, don’t forget to release the funds to the vendor after marking it as shipped if you have chosen “FE” as your method of payment, or if they are an FE-only vendor.
What is FE?
FE stands for “Finalize Early”. This payment option is reserved for reputable and well-established vendors. Instead of waiting until after an order has been received, a buyer can finalize an order after it has been marked as shipped by the vendor. This moves the money to the vendor more quickly.
If your vendor is not FE-enabled, don’t release funds to them if you haven’t received your product, even if they ask you to do so. Such vendors haven’t been granted FE privileges and the ASAP dispute mods aren’t likely to decide in your favor if release funds to them early but never receive your product (they even state that FE orders are non-refundable in their FAQ). Some vendors only process orders with FE, in which case you should only use the vendor if you have absolute confidence in their ability to do the job.
In all, ASAP Market doesn’t really have a whole lot going for them compared to some of their bigger competitors. It doesn’t seem to be growing at a significant rate and weathers a significant amount of problems. In the year ASAP has been around, however, they have proven themselves to be fairly competent in terms of maintaining customer funds and providing a useable market. It’s hard to say if they will be around for a long time, but if you don’t mind taking a chance on a smaller market, there isn’t anything particularly wrong them and they might be worth a shot.
One thing we know for sure is that ASAP Market is not for the easily spooked. By this we mean the main URLs tend to go offline a lot and the mirrors aren’t exactly reliable, either. So if you’re the type that’s easily panicked at the prospect of an exit scam or other type of site closure, you may want to shop elsewhere. Disconnections happen often and this could pose a problem during the middle of order placement. Perhaps things will change for ASAP in the future, but for now they are one of the more fickle darknet market operations out there.