Openbazaar is a new decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling goods with bitcoin.
It's open now complete with a tutorial on how to make use of the new marketplace. It's not hosted on the internet with a webpage or eCommerce website. Instead it works more like the blockchain or TOR in that a copy of the software is download and installed on the device of each of its participants which act like an individual web server and can only be visited and used while connected through the application.
This cuts out the middleman and/or the middleman's overhead in running a shop online like Amazon.com or eBay where currently vendors have to subscribe, pay fees, and adhere to strict policies that interfere with payment for their merchandise. Additionally there is no PayPal or other payment processor additionally in the middle of the sale meddling in the receipt of payments.
Instead the marketplace utilizes bitcoin for payment. Bitcion is not reversible like credit card payments and services like PayPal or Skrill.
Best of all. There are no fees.
As the Openbazaar website states in response to a FAQ question of "How are there no fees"?
Because there's no company or organization running OpenBazaar, there's no one to charge you fees to list your products and no one to register an account with. The "terms and conditions" of the trade are up to the buyer and seller individually, not a one-size-fits-all policy. It's like buying or selling with someone in person - except you're online.
We took it for a spin and here's the notes from getting it up and running.
Installing The App
This may not be for the weak at heart. Its an executable and you have to download and install it on your computer. We did this in a safe environment and can tell you that it passed virus and malicias content checks, but take that at face value. We cannot guarantee anything and you should certainly run your own virus scan.
Alternately if can download the source code, review it, compile it on your own and run it that way.
Either one is straight forward as far as downloading. Then the install and setup is fairly painless as well.
1. You'll basically walk through a few Q&A steps asking you what country, timezone, language you prefer and other things like that.
2. This step is one to be aware of (below). The NSFW switch. If you don't want to see anything that maybe you don't think you should, leave this off (default).This happens in step number 6. Alternately some folks may prefer this to be on.
3. Once the initial setup is complete you can enter the browser space and customize your settings as we did here.
You can also elect to be a moderator and set your moderation fee and setup to be a store and upload products and things for sale.
Then off to browsing for your next bitcoin buy. That's pretty much it.
We did all of the above and set our moderation fee to 1%, although the majority of moderators on OpenBazaar currently are set a bit higher. The moderation process can be entered in the event of a dispute between buyer and seller. Each store can select its own moderator or set of moderators and there's already a few Vendors online.
|The Ledger OpenBazaar Store|
The above is Ledger's (hardware wallet) store and then of course there's the amazing store below.
You can find us by handle @dinbits by typing it in the address bar much like a regular web browser. We've put up the March edition of the Blockchain Report in the store as well as a few other items going in such as t-shirts and things. Nothing from us is overwhelmingly cool but the marketplace itself certainly is.
Give OpenBazaar a look today and stop by and say hi by following us (this works much like Twitter).
Story by dinbits
Banner image by dinbits.com staff