New address for OpenBazaar project funds

Back in November 2014 we created a 2-of-4 multisig account for our OpenBazaar project fund, where we could receive donations. We explained our reasoning for using multisig and being transparent with our project funds. That multisig account has four keyholders: Brian Hoffman, Sam Patterson, Washington Sanchez, and Dionysis Zindros.

Dionysis has been instrumental in OpenBazaar’s creation and a strong supporter of the project, but hasn’t played an active role on the project recently. Also, the original setup of the multisig requires us to manually craft new transactions for each expenditure. In order for the project funds to be kept with active participants in the project, and for us to be able to pay out of the account more easily (important as the project grows), we are shifting the project funds to a new 2-of-3 multisig.

The new multisig address is 3BDbGsH5h5ctDiFtWMmZawcf3E7iWirVms, and here is the QR code:

NewOBMulti

We’re publicly tracking project fund expenditures. We haven’t used the fund often in recent times, but we expect now that OpenBazaar is launched it will happen more frequently, especially since merchandise sales began. We’re committed to transparency and will ensure that payments made out of the project fund will have the details noted.

All sales of merchandise on the @OpenBazaar store will go directly into this fund, and reimbursements for shipping costs and purchasing the merchandise from vendors will then be made. We’ll try as much as possible to use vendors that accept Bitcoin.

The same is true for bug bounties, maintaining server infrastructure, conference costs, and other expenses. They will all come out of this fund, with the preference of paying Bitcoin directly but using reimbursement if necessary.

If you have questions about the project fund please join our Slack and contact us there.

 

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New features in OpenBazaar 1.1.5 release

OpenBazaar version 1.1.5 has just been released (download here). You can read the full changelog at the bottom of this post.

This release includes several new features, including email notifications, multiple server management, CSV export for order management, and improved display of listing information.

Email notifications

Users can now enter the details of an SMTP server in Settings > Advanced, and the server will connect to it to send email notifications about their OpenBazaar store.

This feature is still early in development; users will need to have knowledge of their SMTP server to get this working, and the emails received are very simple. We will be making email notification easier to use in future releases, and the email notifications themselves will be more robust (we welcome help on improving this feature).

OB Email

 

Example email when an OB store receives an order
Example email when an OB store receives an order

 

Server management

Previous releases made it difficult to use a single client to switch between multiple servers. The new release greatly simplifies this process by saving server information and allowing switching within the same client. This video shows this new feature being used.

 

CSV export

Stores with a large number of products or orders need the ability to take data from their store and use it outside the client. We’ve added the ability to export this data into a CSV file. When viewing your transactions, click the Export CSV button to see the options.

OBExport

 

Listing information

Listings now have more information about them available when viewing them in the Discover section.

New listings created will now have a tag in the top right corner which shows the type of listing they are: Physical, Digital, or a Service.

Listings with the Physical item tag
Listings with the Physical item tag

Users will also know now if the vendor isn’t able to ship the item to their location with a new tag in the bottom right of the image.

noshipping

Changelog

 The following significant changes have been made in this release:
  • you can now save and edit server configurations, and quickly switch your client between different servers.
  • the navigation menu has shortcuts for switching between saved server configurations.
  • you can now set a SMTP server in settings/advanced to send email messages when various events occur.
  • if a listing can’t be shipped to you, it is marked with an icon in the Discover and Store views.
  • listings are marked whether they are a physical, digital, or service listing. This only applies to listings made since the server was updated with the code to show this data.
  • basic information about your transactions can be exported to CSV from the transactions page
  • follower data on your store page is now lazy loaded, which should dramatically improve performance for stores with many followers.
  • chats with unread messages are positioned at the top of your chat list
  • the local node is only started if the client is currently set to connect to it
  • the shortcuts were changed to avoid colliding with common system shortcut keys. The reload the app shortcut is now ‘f’, and refresh the current view is ‘r’.
  • you can add and remove a user as a moderator for your store from their user page.
  • Bitcoin prices are now formatted according to the language of the user.
  • a bug in the link for a listing in the transaction modal was fixed.
  • you can no longer attempt to purchase your own listings (the final step in the purchase flow is not clickable)


​Special thanks to our contributors for code submissions to this release:

– Dekker3D
– dsmurrell
– mariodian

And special thanks to everyone that contributed to translations on Transifex (https://www.transifex.com/ob1/openbazaar).

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Snapshot of the OpenBazaar ecosystem at the beginning

OpenBazaar was released to the public on April 4th, and after two weeks of use we wanted to take a snapshot of what this emerging ecosystem of decentralized trade looks like right at the beginning. In this post we’ll walk through some stats and also talk to people who have been using the software.

Stats

We’ve put out four releases of OpenBazaar over the past two weeks. Altogether, the installers for these releases have been downloaded more than 54,600 times. However, not everyone who downloads an installer ends up installing OpenBazaar and running a node on the network. Because it’s peer-to-peer it’s difficult to know exactly how many users did become a node on the network, but we can make educated guesses.

BazaarBay.org is a website which runs a crawler of the OpenBazaar network in order to display content on the web. Their site collects stats as they crawl, which aren’t meant to be precise but give a rough approximation of what the network looks like. According to their stats they’ve seen ~17,800 nodes on the network in total since launch. Of those over 2,200 were vendors selling items. The total number of listings people have put up for sale is just over 6,500.

At the moment there are 546 valid OpenBazaar handles that have registered a blockchain ID.

Stories

Stats are interesting, but we wanted to talk to some people using OpenBazaar to get a better understanding of their experience. I asked a set of questions to a few vendors on the network, as well as some developers who are building services on top of OpenBazaar.

Screenshot from 2016-04-18 11-55-37

BazaarBay

This third party service was mentioned above in this post. It’s a website that acts as a way to view the OpenBazaar network via the web. The creator of BazaarBay had this to say.

Why did you get involved with the project?

I was looking for interesting projects to support / work on / to develop some project-related addons. OpenBazaar was just what I was looking for. It contained technologies which I’m familiar with as well as the e-commerce side + bitcoin + bit of anarchistic attitude. That’s exactly what I was looking for.

Can you describe your experience with OpenBazaar over the past few weeks?

Everything has been great, there has been minor technical issues. But that’s something everyone should expect from new project.

Anything related to using OpenBazaar that was unexpected?

I think the vendor side has been unexpectedly strong and diverse. I didn’t expect so many vendors to start selling goods & services so quickly.

How long have you used Bitcoin?

Since launch.

Anything else to mention?

Because of all these positive feedback and experiences, we’re encouraged to add more resources; they will be assigned to BazaarBay development.

Tyler Smith

Tyler is a developer building various helpful services for OpenBazaar users, such as a hosting service for OpenBazaar stores.

Why did you get involved with the project?

I’ve been interested in OpenBazaar since before it was forked from the DarkMarket project because I believe in free markets, decentralization, and open protocols. OpenBazaar combines the three in a way that’s extremely interesting to me by introducing a simple but powerful protocol that anybody can use to structure trade. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get involved until mid-to-late 2015 but since then I’ve been working hard on providing tools, services, and support to the community because I think OpenBazaar can a giant success for free commerce if executed correctly. If we do things right we can enable open and unrestricted trade for all people and machines.

Can you describe your experience with OpenBazaar over the past few weeks?

The past couple of weeks have been extremely busy because the reception has been huge. I’ve always expected OpenBazaar to do well, but I would have never guessed at how excited, active, and helpful the community has been. I’ve gotten feedback for my services from nearly a hundred users and very quickly we’ve developed a group of enthusiastic users volunteering their time and energy to help others and report bugs. I already feel that I’ve made very good friends that I’ll keep in touch with for a long time. There were far less issues than I expected going from a pool of a dozen users to thousands in a couple of days. The issues that we did come across were quickly resolved. Working with the OpenBazaar protocol is very easy so it’s simple to adapt to rapidly incoming feedback. I look forward to helping make OpenBazaar a giant success; the ubiquitous protocol used for all commerce over networks.

Screenshot from 2016-04-18 11-34-34

Dutyfree

This OpenBazaar store sells cigarettes. Store handle: @gotcigarettes

Why did you start an OpenBazaar store?

I’ve been waiting to open my OB store for over a year now – the promise of permissionless peer to peer trade was just too mind-blowing to ignore. The idea that for the first time in history, it will be possible for any two people on the planet to trade with one another (not even mentioning the escrow) without asking anyone’s permission, or paying intermediaries has kept me awake at night really. Having said this, I’m really proud to be sitting in the front row of the commerce revolution!

Can you describe your experience with OpenBazaar over the past few weeks?

Apart from a few bugs here and there (which have been patched with incredible speed), my experience has been very positive. I’ve received a dozen of orders and have two positive feedbacks already – it feels great! :)

Anything related to using OpenBazaar that was unexpected?

The UX and the loading speed were totally unexpected. I was definitely not expecting such a smooth first version of the OB software.

How long have you used Bitcoin?

I’ve been using Bitcoin for a good five years already.

Anything else to mention?

It’d be nice if the dev team continues to work on the privacy aspect of OB – it’s so transparent (one’s IP address is pretty much public info) that it’s a little disconcerting.

sb

Robert Valmassoi (Owner, Surf Burro)

This OpenBazaar store sells Mexican blankets. Store handle: @surfburro

Why did you start an OpenBazaar store?

I’ve had multiple problems with dispute resolution on eBay and I have never liked their high fees, but there hasn’t been better alternatives. With what OpenBazaar provides and as a bitcoin user, it was naturally compelling. Although I plan to use it personally when I need to sell something, my company Surf Burro was a perfect first store. OpenBazaar is another outlet for us to find more customers, has no fees, and is bundled in a fairly smooth platform.

Can you describe your experience with OpenBazaar over the past few weeks?

Application: The program is simple and well designed. I was able to get the store setup very quickly. There has been a few bugs, but after working with the OB1 developers, they have all been resolved and the software is running smoothly now.

Buying: I haven’t yet made a purchase. At the moment the catalog is lacking, but I’m sure it will increase with user growth and improved search/browsing functionality.

Selling: I’m happy with the volume we’ve sold in the short amount of time. Half of our buyers chose to use a moderator, but didn’t need to start a dispute. The escrow system works great, the funds get released quickly and no chance of a chargeback to worry about.

Overall I am very happy with OpenBazaar, even it its early stage.

Anything related to using OpenBazaar that was unexpected?

I didn’t realize how useful the chat would be. It is a much better way to communicate with customers and potential customers alike, as compared to eBay’s email-like messaging system. It has even led to a few sales.

How long have you used Bitcoin?

I first became interested and invested in bitcoin in 2012. Surf Burro has accepted bitcoin on our site since we started in 2014.

Anything else to mention?

I think OpenBazaar aligns well with bitcoin’s ideals, and is a great step towards a future of free trade. Although OpenBazaar’s youth currently shows, I can see its potential and have high hopes for its future.

 

 

Screenshot from 2016-04-18 12-15-09

Gold and Silver Bazaar

This OpenBazaar store sells gold and silver coins. Store handle: @GoldandSilverBazaar 

I put my store up on the OpenBazaar network in the first week of your release.

I was excited to see 2 sales come in within the first 48 hours. A 50 gram silver bar to a customer in France and a silver “CopBlock Quarter” to someone in the USA. I have also sold this week a “1766 Spanish Piece of Eight” Coin along with several other rare silver coins.

I moved my site from my windows laptop after the first 2 days and I was unable to migrate my store to the new server. So I built a new one and my existing customers found me and were happy to report that there orders had arrived and wanted to make sure I would get the BTC before they released it. So far,  500.00 in a week!

I put it up on a Digital Ocean VPS and had a difficult time keeping it up for more than 2 days at a time without it hanging and requiring me to restart the server. I have automated that process with a “cron script” for now.

Recently I did an “git pull” update on both of my servers and they haven’t had issues yet.

I launched a second store @thefarmersmarket  a few days ago and have had 3 sales of homemade caramels to people from around the country.

I am impressed with OpenBazaar. I sell alot on ebay and I cant wait to spread the word for OpenBazaar Bitcoin.

I am looking forward to the future of OpenBazaar.

 

Screenshot from 2016-04-18 12-22-53

OpenBazaar Store

We also run a store on OpenBazaar, selling merchandise. Proceeds go to the project fund.

Since launch we’ve had 221 orders placed and ran out of OpenBazaar pins the first day (more are on the way). The store now has 8,800 followers!

 

Growing pains

We’ve been very pleased by the community’s reception of the OpenBazaar launch, but it hasn’t gone off without a hitch.

Most users could install the first release without problems, but when we released the next update (1.1.1) many Windows users couldn’t install the software, or received the message “Unable to Connect to Server.” This was a bug caused by not properly packaging OpenSSL, which was fixed in newer releases.

The “Unable to Connect to Server” problem still impacts some users, and we’re working to diagnose why this is.

The first three releases also had a problem with CPU usage on the server side. The server would run fine for sometime, and then spike quickly, causing it to become unresponsive for several minutes (or even crash). This issue was solved in the newest release (1.1.3).

Many users have joined OpenBazaar to test out the software, but don’t keep a server running continually. For other users who later try to navigate to their page, they get a “The page you’re trying to view is currently offline” message, which is a frustrating experience. This is a current limitation of the software, and we’re working to address this issue.

Vendors have reported that the shipping options are too limited, and order management is too simple. We’re aware of this (I experienced this personally when dealing with @OpenBazaar store orders) and are working to improve them.

Summary

OpenBazaar had an exciting first few weeks with thousands of people using the new software. There were plenty of problems, and there’s a long way to go for decentralized trade to reach mainstream. But the developers and users building the ecosystem have finally gotten a glimpse of what permissionless trade looks like, and they’re not stopping until we can all trade free.

 

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OpenBazaar is Open for Business

OpenBazaar is now released on the mainnet and is ready for real transactions. You can download the program on the OpenBazaar website.

You can read our user tutorial explaining how to use OpenBazaar for the first time. If you need help, join our Slack or visit our help center.

If you’re not familiar with OpenBazaar, it’s a decentralized peer-to-peer network for trade that uses Bitcoin. That trade happens directly between buyers and sellers with no one in the middle – and no fees or restrictions on trade. You can read more about it at this post.

Below is a press release with more details on the release.

OpenBazaar store

Press release

“OpenBazaar Team Releases First Version of Decentralized Marketplace”

Washington, DC — April 4th, 2016 – OpenBazaar – the decentralized marketplace that uses Bitcoin – is now open for business.

Today, the core developers of OpenBazaar released the first version of their peer-to-peer marketplace. Project leader Brian Hoffman stated, “Trade was meant to be free. This idea inspired us to spend the last two years building OpenBazaar. Starting today, anyone in the world with access to an Internet connection can use Bitcoin and OpenBazaar to exchange goods and services freely. We can’t wait to see how people will use this tool.”

Unlike the online marketplace giants Alibaba, Amazon, or eBay, this new model of online commerce isn’t controlled by any company or organization. OpenBazaar is a fully peer-to-peer marketplace where buyers and sellers engage in trade directly with each other. Because there are no middleman in the trade, users don’t pay any fees to use the network, and there are no terms and conditions to sign. OpenBazaar is permissionless trade. There are also no central authorities that act as gatekeepers and restrict trade.

OpenBazaar launched a test version of their software March 1st, and saw more than 25,000 downloads from 126 countries. Users posted more than 3,000 listings to test out the software in preparation for the public release.

In 2015, the OpenBazaar core-developers received funding from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen-Horowitz, and angel investor William Mougayar to form a company, enabling full-time development of the protocol and software. The company, named ‘OB1’, will continue releasing improved versions of the software over the coming months, and will begin offering services to users on the network.

Users who want to join OpenBazaar can download the program for free on the OpenBazaar website.

Follow OpenBazaar on Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, and on their Blog.

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Current Limitations of the OpenBazaar Software

Anyone with a computer and internet connection can easily install the OpenBazaar software and begin trading with anyone else in the world – for free – without permission. We firmly believe that decentralized, P2P trade is going to fundamentally change commerce for the better.

However, we don’t expect this to happen overnight. Our upcoming mainnet release is only the first step in this process, and the software has some limitations. Some of these limitations are due to the nature of decentralized networks, and others are due to the limited time and resources we’ve had while building this product.

We want to make sure everyone is aware of the current limitations, as well as our plan to address them if possible. OpenBazaar is an open source project and we welcome more people on board to help us tackle these challenges.

Current Limitations

1. Offline stores

In the current design, a user’s store must remain online for other users to see and purchase listings of goods and services. The data around listings is hosted by the store itself and not replicated elsewhere. Users who don’t want to run OpenBazaar on their own machines can choose to run their node on inexpensive dedicated hardware, such as a Raspberry Pi, or by using a VPS which will keep their store online 24/7.

Addressing this limitation

Because the network is entirely peer to peer, it’s a difficult problem to determine how to make storage of listings and other data accessible even when a peer goes offline. However, there are other projects working on these problems. One project is the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). Our lead back-end developer Chris Pacia has begun looking at how IPFS could be used to cache data and serve offline listings. It’s still early, but it looks promising. Our goal is to eventually transition away from the requirement of running a store continuously in order to engage in trade on the network.

2. Inventory management

In the current design, stores have only rudimentary inventory management tools. They cannot import/export listings from other platforms (e.g. TaoBao, eBay, Shopify), or specify the number of stock available for purchase. For the time being, listings need to be manually removed when they are sold out, similar to Craigslist and other classifieds.

Addressing this limitation

Inventory controls is a top priority feature to be added shortly after the mainnet release. Work has already begun on this issue, and the team will work closely with vendors to design and implement an inventory management system that works for them.

3. Search

Search in OpenBazaar is limited to querying the network for listings tagged with keywords that Vendors have assigned. This means that if a Vendor tags his product as ‘#tshirt’, and a buyer searches for ‘#tshirt’, they will see the Vendor’s product along with any other listing with that keyword. There are several limitations to this approach.

Because the network has no central authority, there’s no way to prevent people from mislabeling the products and attaching keywords which are unrelated to their product. Also, the process of looking through the network to find related keywords is slow. There’s no room for error either; keywords must be exact matches.

Addressing this limitation

This limitation is characteristic of P2P networks. Fortunately, users aren’t completely reliant on the search tool in the client, and the search feature isn’t the only way to navigate the network.

Bazaarbay.org is an example of a third party service which crawls the OpenBazaar network and gives users a more convenient search engine tool they’re used to. As OpenBazaar grows, similar services are expected to build their own search services.

Also, users can find listings without search altogether. The Discover page shows a random sampling of other stores, and they can also put an OB link to a store or listing directly into the navigation bar.

4. Anonymity

OpenBazaar users don’t have their IP addresses obfuscated. This means that a malicious user may be able to tie someone’s activity on the OpenBazaar network to the location of their physical internet connection.

In other areas of the design, OpenBazaar has focused on giving users more control over their own privacy. All traffic between OpenBazaar nodes is encrypted, so that others cannot see the details of transactions. This includes an end-to-end encrypted chat. Data is only seen by the parties directly involved in the trade.

Addressing this limitation

As OpenBazaar project lead Brian Hoffman has stated, “I think [anonymity] is, without a doubt, one of the most important, fundamental things that we need to have in OpenBazaar.”

There are some ways to increase privacy now. Similar to a bittorrent node, OpenBazaar users can run their node behind a VPN now. They can also run on a VPS.

We are looking at integrating other tools which enhance privacy. Tor is something we’ve thought about, but is difficult due to the fact that OpenBazaar uses UDP instead of TCP. Another tool which looks more promising is I2P, something which we’ve begun to investigate more closely. I2P already uses UDP.

IPFS is working on support for IPv6, Tor, and I2P connections. If we transition to IPFS and they have completed support for these tools, then users will have more anonymity options available to them.

5. Reputation

The reputation system on OpenBazaar is currently limited to buyers leaving reviews on transactions they’ve had with vendors, which are public. Reviews can only be left if a Bitcoin transaction has occurred, which prevents users from leaving reviews without actually engaging in some sort of transaction. As is true on other platforms, there’s nothing that prevents an untrustworthy vendor from pretending to be a buyer and purchasing their own product, leaving a positive review.

Reviews cannot be given to buyers or moderators. It’s important that buyers and vendors trust moderators, who act as escrow agents to ensure the transaction goes through smoothly. Without a reputation system in the current version of the software, users will need to determine trustworthiness of moderators through outside channels or by moderators choosing to connect their profiles to their real life identities.

Addressing this limitation

Building a decentralized reputation system that can be trusted – especially when allowing for anonymous users – is an unsolved problem. Our first attempt at reputation is a simple one that requires all parties involved to be able to prove a Bitcoin transaction occurred. Future versions will allow reviews on moderators, and also will be able to use the public ratings left on vendors to do more complex analysis.

Because OpenBazaar is open source, it’s also possible that third parties could do blockchain analysis to detect reputation fraud and offer their own reputation systems.

Join us

Building a peer to peer system for global trade is hard; come help us realize this vision of completely free trade. If you’re a developer, you can take a look at the back-end code or the open issues, or the front-end code or open issues. Feel free to join our Slack to talk directly to the devs and other community members. You don’t need to be a developer to join, we need testers, vendors, buyers and anyone else who’s interested in helping out however they can.

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OpenBazaar Weekly Update, March 7, 2016

Update

We’ve been posting weekly development updates for many months now. Since our testnet release on March 1st, we’re now going to give updates on development through release notes when new versions are released.

We will continue publishing weekly updates, which won’t be focused on code changes but other information around the progress of the OpenBazaar software, network, and community.

Testnet Release

On March 1st we released the testnet version of OpenBazaar. Over the past week we’ve been excited to see so many people download and test OpenBazaar for themselves. Since OpenBazaar is purely peer to peer, there is no central server to collect exact numbers on how many users installed OpenBazaar since testnet launch, but we can see how many users downloaded the installers from the Github repositories. Version 1.0.6 and 1.0.7 have been downloaded more than 8,000 times over the past week. The OpenBazaar testnet now has hundreds of items people are buying and selling to test out the software.

View post on imgur.com

In addition, we’ve seen more than 100 new issues opened on the client repository and 20 opened on the server repository. We appreciate so many people testing and reporting in order to make OpenBazaar ready for the upcoming main net release.

Many testers took to Twitter to share updates and screenshots of their own OpenBazaar pages and stores. One tester made a video showing off the process of purchasing products, shown at the bottom of this post.

The team is currently addressing the new open issues and responding to user feedback. Also, having so many users on the network has given us the ability to see how individual nodes respond to higher traffic. With this information we’re now focusing on optimization.

We will continue to put out new releases during this testing phase until we get enough testing and feedback to feel confident switching over to the main net. There is no set deadline yet for this transition.

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OpenBazaar Released on the Testnet

downloadOpenBazaar

OpenBazaar is now fully functional on the testnet. We welcome rigorous testing from the community to ensure everything is functioning properly. You can download the testnet version here.

After we’re confident of the stability and functionality of the product, we’ll transition to the main net and OpenBazaar will be open for business.

Guides

If you want to become a tester, check out the tester’s guide.

The OpenBazaar User Tutorial has an overview of how to use the platform.

The Vendor’s Guide gives more details on how to sell goods and services on the network.

Help

If you need help, visit our help desk.

If you want to chat with someone from the OpenBazaar community for help, or to give feedback on how OpenBazaar is working for you, join our Slack community.

Don’t forget that this is on the testnet and uses testnet bitcoin for the moment. If you need a testnet wallet, we recommend Copay, which is available here on both iOS and Android. If you need testnet coins, you can grab some here for free.

If you’d like to notified when OpenBazaar launches for real trade, drop your email here.

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OpenBazaar User Tutorial

This tutorial will show users how to install OpenBazaar, navigate the network, and make purchases.

If you have problems along the way, visit our help desk. If you want to chat with someone from the OpenBazaar community for help, or to give feedback on how OpenBazaar is working for you, join our Slack community.

Step #1 – Download and install OpenBazaar

Most users will want to download a package for their operating system, which makes installation as simple as downloading and opening a file. If you have some technical expertise and want to manually install OpenBazaar, read these instructions.

The packages for release can be found on our Github releases page at this link:

Download OpenBazaar

Windows users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X_Setup.exe file. After downloading and opening the file, Windows users will be guided through an installation process which should go very quickly.

OS X users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X.dmg file.

Linux users use the .deb file.

Download and open the file.

Step #2 – Run OpenBazaar for the first time

The first time you run OpenBazaar you will be guided through an onboarding process to personalize your experience. You will be asked a few questions such as your language, country, and preferred currency.

onboarding1

Each user has their own page on the OpenBazaar network. You can choose a specific theme to make your store unique.

onboarding2

You also have the opportunity to upload an avatar for your store. Click on “Select Avatar” to choose a file from your computer.

onboarding3

The last part of the onboarding process is a disclaimer about using the OpenBazaar software, which you should read before continuing.

After finishing onboarding, you’ll now see your own OpenBazaar page. Here’s what an example page looks like.

newuserpage

Notice the long string of characters below your name, and in the navigation bar at the top of the client. This is your OpenBazaar ID, which is an address that every page on the network has. You can learn more about OpenBazaar IDs here, and how to create simpler names called “handles” here.

newuserpageOBID

Step #3 – View OpenBazaar listings and stores

OpenBazaar is a network of users all over the world who host their own stores, and sell goods and services for Bitcoin.

To view a random sampling of other stores, click on the “Discover” icon (looks like an eye) on the top right of the client. This will bring you to the main Discover page where you can view listings and stores on the OpenBazaar network.

discoverlistings

By default you’ll see listings, but if you click on the “Pages” tab you’ll be shown a list of pages which you can connect to. This isn’t a complete list of all the pages on the network; at any one time your own computer only connects to a subset of the overall network.

discoverpages2

Note that, by default, users will have a NSFW filter turned on that will hide listings which have been labeled NSFW by the vendor. You can turn off this filter by going into Settings > General tab > clicking “No” on the “Display NSFW Content?” option at the bottom > Saving changes.

If you see a listing which is inappropriate or offensive, you can block that user. Blocking another user means you will not see their items or store on your discover page. You can block a user by hovering over the listing and clicking “Block.”

blockuser2

Navigation bar

You can also use the navigation bar to find other stores or listings. Every listing and store has an address on the network, and putting in that address will take you there, just like a website.

For example, take note of the navigation bar on this image. By default, all pages have an address like this, called the OpenBazaar ID. Putting this address into the navigation bar will take you to their page if it’s online.

storenavigationbar2

Since this address isn’t memorable (similar to a Bitcoin address) there is a simpler way. OpenBazaar IDs can be tied to “Handles,” which are short names that can easily be entered into the navigation bar. For example, here’s a store with the handle @drwasho. If you want to set up your own handle, read this article.

storeHandle2

Listings have addresses as well. The address first contains the OpenBazaar ID or Handle of the store, and then /item/ followed by the address of the specific item. For example, this listing has the following address:

8ed937277cad44f4bda553bb2bc6b47e4b4a246e/item/86fda502a9175b8173cd540a355a23eecf20ea62

listingaddress2

Copy these addresses in client with Ctrl+C, and paste them with Ctrl+V. You can use share these addresses on the web and other OpenBazaar users can navigate directly to the addresses by pasting them in their navigation bars.

Chat and following

OpenBazaar isn’t a giant ecommerce site; it’s a group of people who all want to engage in peer to peer trade. If you want to talk with those people, you can by using the built-in chat function. Chat is encrypted end-to-end for user’s privacy.

On any OpenBazaar page, you can message the owner of the page by clicking the “message” button.

storepagechat2

This opens the chat bar on the right of the client. You’ll see the user and their avatar at the top, your messages in the middle, and then a text field to type at the bottom. There’s also a dropdown on the right which allows you to view the users page and also block the user if they are harassing you.

storepagechatexample

If you want to remember a store you found, you can follow them, which will add them to your following list. On their page, click the follow button.

follow2

Then on your own page, you can click the following tab and see the stores you’ve followed.

following

Step #4 – Buy something

OpenBazaar is all about creating a new peer to peer network for trade, using Bitcoin. So let’s buy something! Find an item you like and click the big “BUY NOW” button.

The first time you purchase something on OpenBazaar, you’re going to be asked if you have a Bitcoin wallet or not.

buyflow1

If you don’t, you’ll get a list of wallet providers to choose from. You’ll need Bitcoin to buy anything on OpenBazaar, so if you don’t have Bitcoin yet then you should either become a vendor on OpenBazaar and sell some items to earn some Bitcoin, or buy some elsewhere.

If you have Bitcoin, then you can proceed. If the vendor has chosen moderators, you’ll be asked to select from one of two payment types:

1. Direct Payment – The buyer sends the bitcoin directly to the vendor.

2. Moderated Payment – The buyer sends the bitcoin into an escrow account and they are released when the transaction is finished.

You can read more about moderators and moderated payments here. The bottom line is this: Moderated payments give the buyer some protection against the vendor taking the money and not delivering the product. But it’s important to choose a trustworthy moderator. Forums such as OpenBazaar Moderators give people a place to discuss good or bad moderators.

If you choose moderated payments, then your bitcoins will be sent into an escrow account (using a unique feature of Bitcoin called multisignature addresses) that will only allow the funds to move if two out of three parties agree. Those parties are the buyer, vendor, and the moderator. This is more secure than a direct payment, in which the vendor receives payment as soon as they process the order.

After you choose which payment type you want, you will be asked to enter a Bitcoin address that you control. This address is only used in case there is a refund. Once you’ve entered this refund address the first time, you will not be asked again, but you can change it in settings. If you choose to create a temporary address with RushWallet, please don’t forget to save the URL so that you don’t lose it.

If you are buying a physical item, you’ll now be asked to enter a shipping address. If the vendor doesn’t ship to your country then you’ll be unable to purchase the item.

buyflowshipping

You’ll then be shown a summary screen with details of your order, and quantity, shipping information and moderator details (if it’s a moderated payment). If you are satisfied and want to place and order, click the “Pay for Order” button.

buyflowfinal2

You’ll now be shown the last step in the purchasing process, the payment screen. If you’re familiar with Bitcoin then you’ve seen these QR codes many times. If you have a mobile Bitcoin wallet, simply scan the code and pay. If you have a local wallet, you can click “Open in Local Wallet” and you can finish payment there, or click “Copy to Clipboard” to get the payment address easily.

buyflowpayment

After paying you should see the payment screen change to indicate successful payment in only a few seconds.

buyflowpaymentsuccess

If you don’t see anything change within a few minutes, then you can click the “Refresh Payment Status” button to manually check for payment again.

You’ve bought something, what now?

Step #5 – Managing orders

You can view your purchases by clicking on the menu on the top right of the client, and then on the “Purchases” section of the dropdown menu.

purchasesmenu2

This brings you to your transactions page, which shows you all of your purchases, sales (if a vendor) and cases (if a moderator). To view more details about a purchase, click on “Order Details.”

purchasesorderdetails2

In this window you’ll see several tabs. The first is a summary tab which gives you an overview of the order. The second is a funds tab which shows the details of all the Bitcoin transactions. The third is a Discussion tab which allows you to have a conversation with the vendor, as well as open a dispute with the moderator if it was a moderated transaction.

purchasemodaldiscussion

You may also have a shipping tab if you ordered a physical item. This tab will show the shipping address you provided.

This window is also where you’ll finish up your orders if you selected a moderated payment. If the vendor shipped the item or delivered the service to your satisfaction, then you should complete the order releasing the funds to the vendor. This also gives you an opportunity to leave a rating for your transaction. After the vendor confirms the order on their end, you’ll have the opportunity press the “Complete this order” on the top left of the window.

purchasereleasefunds2

You’ll then be asked for the rating, and can scroll down to enter a text review as well. Click save and your rating will be left on the product, and funds will be released.

Disputes

What if the vendor never sends the product, or they sent something broken? If you have a problem with the vendor, the first step should be to contact them and ask for them to resolve the situation or ask for a refund.

If the vendor is unresponsive or won’t cooperate, and you’ve selected a moderated transaction, you can then open a dispute and bring your case to the moderator. To do this, open the Discussion tab (we showed this above) on the order you placed.

You’ll then be able to open a dispute by making your case to the moderator in the chat area, and checking a box on the bottom right labeled “Start a Dispute” then sending the message.

disputeopen2

The moderator will then be able to see the conversation from that point out. They should work with both buyer and seller to determine who will receive the funds in the escrow. Eventually the moderator should close the transaction, which will display the message “END DISPUTE” in the chat and also give you the option to accept the payout if you were the winning party. Notice in this example the payout amounts mentioned on the top of the window. If they look right, then you can click the “Accept Dispute Payout” button.

disputeaccept2

As soon as you accept the payout the funds will be released to you. Note that the moderator will be paid a percentage of the overall transaction if they are called upon to settle a dispute.

Reminders

If you want to go beyond just buying goods and services on OpenBazaar and become a vendor, you can learn more at the Vendor’s Guide.

If you’re still using OpenBazaar in the test phase, you’ll need to use a testnet address and testnet coins instead of regular Bitcoin. There are more instructions in the tester’s guide.

If you need help, visit our help desk. If you want to chat with someone from the OpenBazaar community for help, or to give feedback on how OpenBazaar is working for you, join our Slack community.

Let’s make trade free!

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OpenBazaar Tester’s Guide

This article is to help OpenBazaar testers install the software, test it, and report any bugs or feedback to the development team. Thank you to all the testers out there helping us make OpenBazaar the best it can be!

If you’ve already been testing and have a bug report to file or feedback to deliver, you can skip right to the reporting bugs section.

Overview

To use OpenBazaar, you will need to run the OpenBazaar server and client. If you use the pre-built packages, these will be installed together. If you build OpenBazaar manually, they will be installed separately. The server is the program doing the work of communicating with other OpenBazaar nodes and managing your Bitcoin keys. The client is the visual interface you need to interact with the rest of the network. The server and client do not need to be run on the same machine; you can set up a server on a remote machine, run your client locally, and connect them together.

In the initial testing period, the OpenBazaar network will solely be running on the testnet and using testnet Bitcoins. You can receive a small amount of testnet coins from this faucet; please return them when done with testing. You can use a mobile app such as Copay or testnet3 to receive and spend the testnet coins. Listings, sales, and purchases on the testnet should be assumed to be for testing purposes only. After this period we’ll transition to testing with real Bitcoin and real listings; please read the disclaimer at the beginning of the onboarding process.

There are three user roles on the OpenBazaar network. Any user can fill any role or any combination of roles.

Buyer

A buyer will access the network solely to purchase goods or services, check on their order status, release funds to the vendor or dispute a transaction they’re involved with, and leave reviews on vendors.

Buyers don’t need to run the OpenBazaar server or client regularly. They only run them when they want to access the network.

Vendor

A vendor will access the network in order to manage their online store. This include listing their goods or services, tracking order status, marking products as shipped, engaging in communication with buyers about open orders (or prospective clients’ questions), and managing disputes with the buyer and/or the moderator.

Vendors need to run the OpenBazaar server continually in order for other users to see their listings. This can be done by running the server on local computer (anything from a typical PC to a Raspberry Pi Zero) and keeping it running 24/7, or by using a VPS such as Digital Ocean to host the server for them. Here is a guide to installing the server on a VPS.

The server is not a ‘heavy-duty’ server but a lightweight program that shouldn’t interfere with the normal operation of your computer, but if users have an unstable internet connection or aren’t willing to run their computer continually, they should consider hosted solutions.

A vendor can run the client locally and connect to a server running locally or running remotely. The client doesn’t need to run for other users to see their store, purchase items, or receive chat messages, but without the client running you will be unaware of these events occurring until you connect the client to server later.

Moderators

A moderator will access the network in order to offer dispute resolution services to vendors and buyers, engage in dispute resolution if it occurs, and join with the winning party to release funds from the multisignature account.

OpenBazaar uses a 2-of-3 multisig escrow to prevent scams on the network. Instead of a buyer sending Bitcoin directly to a vendor (which is also an option for buyers if they want to), the default transaction in OpenBazaar is to have the vendor choose a third party called a moderator. If the buyer agrees with the vendor’s choice of moderator, then they buy the item and send the Bitcoin to a multisig address with all three parties containing one signing key. If the transaction goes smoothly and the product is delivered or service rendered, then both buyer and vendor sign to release the money to the vendor (two of three signatures). If there’s a dispute, then both buyer and vendor make their case to the moderator. The moderator makes a decision and joins with the winning party to release the funds to them, or splits funds among the parties. This means the moderator plays a vital role in preventing bad actors from scamming people, and both vendors and buyers should select them with care.

Just like vendors, moderators need to have their server running in order for other users to see them. They cannot be chosen to provide dispute resolution services if their store is offline.

Installation

You can install OpenBazaar either by using a prebuilt package, or by manually installing via the command line. We want testers to use whichever they prefer, though we anticipate that most people will install OpenBazaar with a package.

If you encounter an error with a package, installer, or manual installation, skip to the reporting bugs section to learn how to file a bug report.

Packages

The packages for release can be found on our Github releases page at this link:

Download OpenBazaar

Windows users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X_Setup.exe file. After downloading and opening the file, Windows users will be guided through an installation process which should go very quickly.

OS X users use the OpenBazaar-1.X.X.dmg file.

Linux users use the .deb file. Once downloaded, open your terminal, change directory to where the .deb is located, and run “sudo dpkg -i [deb package]“. Then enter “openbazaar” in terminal and it will load.

Manual installation

Manual installation uses the command line, and git. Users will need to use git in order to update their code; it will not update automatically. We recommend manual installation only for users who are familiar with using the command line.

If you have some technical expertise and want to manually install OpenBazaar, read these instructions.

Testing

Once OpenBazaar is properly installed, you can begin testing. Please ensure you are testing the latest code; if using the Windows installer or OSX package then the client should ask you to restart the client in order to use the latest code automatically. If using a manual installation on any platforms, please make sure to run ‘git pull’ on both server and client occasionally to keep updated.

Feel free to play any role on the network, or all of them at once. If you are already a vendor online, consider trying to set up a store as you would if the platform were live. If you want a more methodical approach, you can use this testing script.

You will first go through a brief on-boarding process where the client asks a few questions to create a better commerce experience. After that you can set up your own store and begin listing products, or start buying products from other stores (or both). Keep in mind that if you are still early in the testing phase that the network will still be using the Bitcoin testnet (using testnet coins which have no value), and all products and services should be considered only examples for testing. If a user tests off the testnet and uses real Bitcoin, they are recommended to engage in smaller trades to reduce risk of lost coins.

While testing you should be keeping an eye out for two things:

1. Bugs. These are problems with the software that prevent it from acting as it is supposed to. It might be a visual bug in the client which inhibits the user experience, or it might be a bug in the back end which prevents a user from participating in the network properly. Whatever the bug is, follow the instructions below about reporting bugs.

2. Suggestions for improvement. We don’t only want to know when something goes wrong. We’re building OpenBazaar to allow anyone to engage in trade for free with anyone else in the world. That’s an ambitious goal, and we don’t expect that the first version of the software will have everything users want. We want to hear from you how we can improve the platform. This includes both small and big-picture improvements. What feature is missing? Which feature isn’t necessary? We will be releasing new versions constantly after the initial release, and we want to hear from you in order to know what is most important to work on next besides bug fixes.

Reporting Bugs and Feedback

 

Bugs

You’ve found a bug and want to report it. Thanks for your help! Please follow these steps to make the process easier for you and for the developers.

1. Check to see if this bug has already been reported. You don’t want to waste your own time or the time of the developers if this bug is already a known issue. Take note of the details around the bug, and then take two steps to ensure this bug isn’t already known. First, ask users in the #testers-room channel in the OpenBazaar Slack if they’ve seen the bug. Other testers or developers will be in the room and should be able to respond if it’s a known issue. If those users are unfamiliar with the bug, or if you don’t get a response, then the next step is to check the Github issues to look for the bug. You can view issues for the Client here and issues for the Server here. Scan the titles of the last few dozen issues, and/or use the search feature to find keywords related to your issue.

If you find someone has already filed your issue, you can leave a Github comment in the thread mentioning that you have encountered the same issue. Include details of your operating system and any other details which might be helpful.

If you don’t find the issue, continue to step two.

2. Gather as much information as you can about the problem. Take note of what you were doing before you noticed the problem, during it, and after as well. Try to be specific. If it’s a visual bug in the client, take a screenshot or video if possible. If you are able to view the terminal readout, include any errors you can see along with ~20 lines before and after the error (errors will usually start with ‘Traceback’). If you don’t use the terminal, you can check for errors in the debug log (debug.log file in the /home/OpenBazaar/ folder). You can include the error messages in the bug report, or if it is a lot of text, you can upload the error text to Pastebin or other services and include a link to them in the report.

3. File the issue on Github. This requires you to create an account on Github if you don’t already have one. You can open new issues for the Client here and for the Server here.

Bug reports should include all the information mentioned in step two, as well as information about your operating system (which type and version), how you installed OpenBazaar and what version of the code you’re currently running, and how severe you consider the bug. Attach the ‘bug’ label to the issue and then decide which other labels to apply, ranging from ‘low priority’ for minor problems to ‘showstopper’ for bugs that completely block functionality. Use your judgement as to how severe the problem is; if they developers disagree they’ll simply change the label you’ve added.

If the bug is a major security flaw, please contact the developer team in Slack to ensure it is addressed properly and in a timely manner.

If you’re unable to file an issue yourself for some reason, please contact a developer in the Slack and relay your information to them directly. They will file an issue.

Feedback

You have some feedback for us on how to make OpenBazaar better. Excellent; we want to hear it. Please use the following format to make it easier to review incoming feedback.

New feature or change to existing feature: (Do you want new functionality completely or a change to something that already exists?)
Back-end or the front-end: (Is this change in how OB works at the core, or in what the end user sees, or both?)
Magnitude of change: (Trivial, Significant, or Massive. What type of effort would it take to bring about these changes?)
Description of suggestion: Describe your suggestion.

You have several options for delivering this feedback.

1. Github issues. You can open a new issue with your feedback. We recommend this option for users who have a specific and detailed feature request or enhancement, and one that doesn’t describe a massive magnitude of change. Please use the “enhancement” label.

2. Subreddit post. You can post to our subreddit with your feedback. We recommend this for feedback that doesn’t have a specific feature request in mind, or for changes describing a massive magnitude of change. Please begin the title of your post with the tag [Feedback].

3. Slack. You can give feedback in our community Slack. Use the #feedback channel. We recommend using Slack if the feedback doesn’t describe a specific feature request, and is more general feedback (‘overview’ type comments).

4. Email. If for some reason you prefer for your feedback to be private instead of public, you can email the developers at project@openbazaar.org with your thoughts.

Reminder

Please be patient during the testing phase; it’s possible that bugs may require you to delete your current installation entirely and reinstall. Also don’t forget that your page, store or listings will not transition from the testnet over to the live net.

Thanks again for your help.

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