Weekly Development Update: December 2, 2016

Summary:

Much development work and testing of OpenBazaar 2.0 happened this week and Milestone 1 is nearly complete!

Milestone 1 means the application is ready for basic testing of some core features like the following:

  • Users can download and install the client and server from github, and use it to fill in their profile, store info, and post listings
  • The network can host listings, stores, and user profiles
  • Users can follow and unfollow

 


 

 Current version

OpenBazaar Updated Download Page

2.0

Front End:

  • Milestone 1 is nearly complete, and we’ve begun working on milestone 2 features
  • Fixing some select bugs in preparation for release of milestone 1
  • Work begun on server connection piece for the 2.0 client
  • Designed the Blocked User experience
  • Started tweaking the overall styling within the app

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How to Choose a Good Moderator on OpenBazaar

How to Choose a Moderator one OpenBazaar

“I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.”
– Bob Dylan (1941 – ), American Singer-Songwriter, Musician, and Poet

Everyone likes the idea of freedom, right? To do what you want when you want to is a nice concept on which most of us can agree. We also know that exercising our freedom comes with the responsibility of making good decisions.

A decentralized network is a practical place to apply this dream of freedom, a place where a buyer and a seller can trade directly with one another and not have anyone else telling them what they can or can’t do. It’s a space that offers a lot of opportunity but there is also risk involved when strangers first gather together to buy and sell–and trust that outweighs or eliminates risk is necessary for building a lasting business network.

How do you establish trust on a free network where people there will likely never know one another through anything other than pixels on a screen?

Our solution on OpenBazaar is to introduce an objective third party on individual transactions.

Presently there are two types of ways for buyers to send payment to vendors in OpenBazaar:

  • Direct Payment – The buyer sends his bitcoin directly to the vendor and trusts that the vendor will then send the goods purchased.Direct payment is risky because once bitcoins are sent the payment cannot be reversed. If the vendor is dishonest they can take the payment and not send the product. We recommend that buyers only use direct payments if they completely trust the vendor and are dealing with small amounts of bitcoin.
  • Moderated Payment – The buyer adds a third party to the transaction, called a moderator, to provide assistance in the case of a dispute. Moderated payments are much more secure.

Moderators and Multisig Accounts

A moderator is a type of user on the OpenBazaar network who helps offer a secure payment method called moderated payment. The buyer adds a moderator and then pays their Bitcoins into a sort of escrow address, called a multisignature or “multisig” address, which is then jointly controlled by the buyer, the vendor, and the moderator. In order for the funds to leave the multisig, any two of these parties need to agree how to release the funds. (Read more about how multisig accounts work here: Can Bitcoin and Multisig Reduce Identity Theft and Fraud?)

In most cases a transaction will go through smoothly, the buyer and vendor are both happy, and they agree to release the funds. In that case the moderator isn’t even aware they were chosen to provide escrow and they don’t receive a fee.

If the transaction doesn’t go smoothly and the buyer or seller open a dispute, then the moderator will provide resolution. The moderator will determine which party is at fault, and will then join with the winning party to release the funds (either release payment to the vendor or refund the buyer). In return for offering this service, the moderator will receive a percentage of the transaction called a dispute fee. These fees are displayed when selecting a moderator and can be viewed by visiting the moderator’s page as well.

Choosing a Moderator

It’s very important for the buyer to select a trustworthy moderator for this arrangement to work. If a moderator is dishonest he can join with the other party to release funds regardless of the situation. If a moderator is unresponsive then a buyer and seller can be locked in a disagreement with no way out. Currently anyone can become a moderator on the OpenBazaar network and we would like to provide some advice on how to select someone trustworthy!

Scope them out in advance

Don’t just rely on the moderators the store you want to purchase from has chosen to add! You can use this moderator index from Duo Search as a great starting point. Note that “Trusted by” indicates the number of vendors who, when they set up their store, selected this moderator to be available to their buyers and does not reflect on the number of transactions on which they’ve actually assisted. Vendors are also able to select multiple moderators for their store. Check out their profiles and look for these 2 things in particular:

  1. A posted moderator agreement
  2. An email address

And it’s also very helpful if they are active in our Slack. The best way to find that out now is to join Slack and ask around or ask them directly.

Make contact

Using the contact information available in the index, reach out to a moderator to gauge their responsiveness and ask them a few questions! We recommend:

  1. Why have you chosen to be a moderator on OpenBazaar?
  2. How many disputes have you settled? Can you tell me about some of them?
  3. Are you in the OpenBazaar Slack? What is your username?

Start small

This environment is still very grassroots so start building relationships here the same way you would online. If you are still wary, start with just a small purchase to try them & the vendor out to minimize your risk. If all goes well then continue on with your adventures and let others know; word of mouth referrals are an excellent way to help others build their reputation and move around confidently in the marketplace!


Want to get to know some people and do some stuff?
Join us on Slack, Github and Twitter!

Would you like to shop or sell on OpenBazaar?
It’s easy and completely free to start as a buyer or vendor! Download now at OpenBazaar.org

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OpenBazaar Ecosystem: TomisCraft Jewelry

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we are featuring TomisCraft, a beautiful handmade jewelry store on OpenBazaar. You can find TomisCraft on OpenBazaar here and browse on Duosearch here.

TomisCraft jewelry store on OpenBazaar

 

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you make/sell?

My name is Tomis and I come from Thessaloniki, a town located in northern Greece. I graduated from Mechanical Engineering in Aristotle Polytechnic School of Thessaloniki. I have studied jewelry-making since 1986 and went professional in 1994 when I opened my retail shop. By the end of 2015 I thought I should try and go international using e-commerce sites because I wanted to see if people worldwide like my creations. Every single time, It’s one of the best moments in my life when looking at customers’ expressions and enthusiasm when asked to tell me if they enjoy my jewelry. All items are handmade and manufactured by me completely. Silver and gold in primary form take their final shape through the usage of techniques rarely used in the pro world, like fusion, which renders the junctions between gold and silver unbreakable.

I love traveling the world! I’m so intrigued by the unknown and the different and I have been led by my insatiable appetite for excitement to the heights of Himalaya and scuba diving in one of the deepest seas in the world. I have been a fan of extreme sports since childhood, my eyes have seen a lot. In all my endeavors I have found various sources of inspiration for my jewels. The oceans, the rocks and the landscape helped me imagine and design the current collection, which I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

My cousins introduced me to Bitcoin and OpenBazaar. I find it very interesting and I am keen to accept the new currency and be part of this new global marketplace.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

It has been good, although we only had a couple of sales via the site. It seems that only a specific group of people is on OpenBazaar and it needs to become more mainstream.


Would you like to have a store on OpenBazaar?
Becoming a vendor is easy and completely free! Check out our Vendor’s Guide to OpenBazaar

Would you like your store to be featured on our blog?
Awesome, we’d love to know your story! Please email jenn@ob1.io

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10 Bitcoin Black Friday Deals on OpenBazaar

Bitcoin Black Friday Deals on OpenBazaar

Bitcoin Black Friday is almost here again which is great, right? It’s an excellent opportunity for vendors and buyers to promote the regular use of Bitcoin while kicking off the holiday shopping frenzy in the U.S. Unfortunately though there is not much information available telling us specifically what kinds of deals and offers to expect so we can plan ahead.

Hey, getting the most out of Black Friday is difficult, and moreso when planning where to spend your precious cryptocurrencies!

Don’t worry though, we’re here to help! The OpenBazaar vendor community is excited, with a lot of great deals and offers they want to share, and we get to tell you about them a little early so you can plan ahead what to do with your (Bitcoin) wallet.

(What’s that? You still only have a digital wallet? Well then see below & pay special attention to what Ledger will have going on Friday…)

Check out these 10 teaser offers:

  1. Agorist Hostingbuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Free service upgrades
  2. Bitcoin Not Bombsbuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Shipping deals + an hilarious free gift
  3. CryptoBooksbuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Andreas Antonopoulos’s new book The Internet of Money available for a ridiculously low price
  4. Crypto Collectiblesbuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Every order made on Black Friday (November 25th) until Cyber Monday (November 28th) will get a free gift and will be entered into a special raffle
  5. Kornilov’s Gallery – buy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Steep discounts on image bundles
  6. Ledger – buy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – NEW product launch and great store-wide discounts
  7. Nuichan Apparelbuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – A special offer to be announced!

  8. Stone Banana Apparelbuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Exclusive new design for Bitcoin Black Friday + storewide discounts
  9. TomisCraft Jewelrybuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Special discounts on top of their prices that are always discounted on OpenBazaar from their other web shop!
  10. Yummiteabuy on OpenBazaar // view via Duosearch – Bonus product with all Purchase Pack listing orders

What other deals and offers are you seeing available on OpenBazaar? Let us know on Twitter so we can share them!


Ready to shop OpenBazaar?
Download now on our website @ openbazaar.org

Would you like to have a store on OpenBazaar?
Becoming a vendor is easy and completely free! Check out our Vendor’s Guide to OpenBazaar

 

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OpenBazaar Ecosystem: CryptoBooks

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we are featuring M.K. Lords, writer and serious Bitcoin advocate who is managing Andreas Antonopoulos’ store CryptoBooks on OpenBazaar. You can find CryptoBooks on OpenBazaar here and on Duosearch here and make sure to say hello to M.K. on Twitter!

#BitcoinBlackFriday Deal: Unbeatable Price!

Snag “The Internet of Money” on OpenBazaar for just BTC 0.011 ($8.00 USD)!

CryptoBooks on OpenBazaar

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I got into bitcoin in 2013 after hearing about it for almost a year but not really diving deep. My work since then has been with NGO’s like Bitcoin Not Bombs and Antiwar.com. I’ve also written for Bitcoin Magazine, been featured in other Bitcoin publications, been a regular panelist on The Bitcoin Group, appeared on radio shows and podcasts speaking on Bitcoin, had my own interview show on Youtube, spoken at conferences around the country, and organized two Bitcoin conferences. Most recently, I was the Community Manager at Airbitz and manage Andreas Antonopoulos‘ store CryptoBooks on OpenBazaar. My non-bitcoin projects include writing on Medium.com, speaking at conferences, and appearing on a fun and feisty radio show called Freedom Feens.

What do you make/sell?

I manage the store CryptoBooks which sells books by Andreas Antonopoulos.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

A decentralized, peer-to-peer marketplace is an exciting concept and goes hand in hand with crypto. It makes sense that some of the most radical literature on the subject would be sold on a radical platform like OpenBazaar.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

It’s been educational, a pretty good for a platform in this stage. I’m used to testing new tech projects and understanding of the time it takes to smooth out platforms. I find it fairly easy to use and can’t wait to see the improvements in the next release.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

I have a better social understanding of Bitcoin but also grasp the technical overview. While I don’t have a tech background, I can explain the concepts to others especially if they aren’t as tech savvy as programmers. I created a lot of content for Airbitz breaking down complex, technical concepts into easier to understand explanations. While Airbitz is a bitcoin app and broader security platform, being involved in Bitcoin helped me better understand other concepts like encryption, decentralized platforms, and security. I’ve spent bitcoin on a huge variety of products and am so glad it’s become way easier to use than a few years ago when I first started using it. Andreas was a huge part in inspiring me to stay active in the Bitcoin space and I am curious to see what the future brings.

What changes would you like to see to OpenBazaar to make it more useful for you?

The orders need to be more logically organized. It doesn’t seem very intuitive and if you are dealing with large amounts of orders, that they rearrange without any seeming structure can make it confusing to keep track of them. Also, being able to edit the orders after they have been marked as shipped would be a great addition to keep track of any issues. Being able to search for the name of the purchaser along with the order ID and product would also be great. A way for notifications to get to you outside the platform if that’s possible would be very helpful. If these issues can be addressed with the next release, I think OB will be more of a game changer and have broader appeal.


Would you like to have a store on OpenBazaar?
Becoming a vendor is easy and completely free! Check out our Vendor’s Guide to OpenBazaar

Would you like your store to be featured on our blog?
Awesome, we’d love to know your story! Please email jenn@ob1.io

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Weekly Development Update: November 18, 2016

 Current version

  • Release of 1.1.9 update
  • A bug where dispute closed and dispute opened messages weren’t formatted correctly in the notifications was fixed
  • A bug where duplicate moderators could appear in the Store Wizard was fixed
  • The naming of the About and Short Description fields was made more clear, in some places it wasn’t obvious which one an input applied to
  • All of the translations were updated to the latest files from Transifex. Thank you to all of our contributors that help with translations!
  • The SSL switch in the connection modal was changed to a radio button to make it easier to understand by contributor Amelia Goodman
  • The ability to see a list of connected Peers in the settings/advanced tab was added by contributor Amelia Goodman
  • The ability to set which bitcoin units you want to use was added by contributor Richard Schneider

OpenBazaar versio 2.0 Onboarding First Screen

2.0

Front End:

  • More progress on the store section of the app
  • More features have been fully defined and are ready for work to begin on them
  • Documentation begun

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Bitcoin Black Friday on OpenBazaar

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become increasingly popular shopping days in the U.S. and around the world, and 2016 will be no different.

Source: BlackFriday.com

Of course we think it’s only appropriate during these magic internet events to use magic internet money, right? Make it even easier on yourself this season by just taking your Bitcoin to OpenBazaar for Bitcoin Black Friday! BitcoinBlackFriday.com will go live with items on November 25th so be sure to check it out along with searching the tag BitcoinBlackFriday on OpenBazaar and Duosearch.

Want to help us promote?

Use these tags to align your posts with the conversations around these various keywords and help your messages and specific items be found: #Bitcoin #BlackFriday #BitcoinBlackFriday

Also, feel free to grab any of the below images to share:

Bitcoin Black Friday OpenBazaar Image 1

Bitcoin Black Friday OpenBazaar Image 2

Bitcoin Black Friday OpenBazaar Image 3

Bitcoin Black Friday OpenBazaar Image 4

Bitcoin Black Friday OpenBazaar Image 5

Better together!

OpenBazaar has an excellent community of vendors, developers and partners working hard to bring this brand new kind of marketplace to life. Want to get more involved selling your items or building the project to be the most excellent decentralized shopping application our future-focused brains can even imagine? Start by joining us on Slack, Reddit, Twitter and Facebook!

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OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Tom Woods Jewelry

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we interview a vendor selling his own hand-made jewelry, Tom Woods Jewelry, who was connected enough to be shared by his friends with us on Twitter! You can find Tom Woods Jewelry on OpenBazaar here and on Duosearch here.

Tom Woods Jewelry on OpenBazaar

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a retired educator having taught incarcerated adults in the Vermont state prison system. In addition, I’ve had longtime interests in computer programming and electronic design, oil painting, and collecting rocks. I live in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, which has pretty good rockhounding sites. I got started faceting stones after finding a beautiful green gemstone while walking along some abandoned railroad tracks. It took a long time to gather the equipment and expertise I needed, but after probably six years I was faceting. I started to amass lots of finished gems and I wanted to do something with them. I couldn’t afford to buy jewelry settings for them all, but I told myself, if I can facet a stone, I should be able to make my own jewelry settings. So as soon as I retired and had the energy and time, I took soldering and metals classes at the Littleton Studio School in Littleton, NH. I’m still involved with L.S.S. It is just so great to be able to talk and share ideas with the great artists and crafts people there. (Read more about Tom on his website at tomscooljewels.blogspot.com!)

What do you make/sell?

What I like to do is collect stones, both locally and around the country. I fashion them into faceted stones or cabochons, which are smoothly shaped and polished stones. Finally, I make the jewelry into which I set my finished stones. I am especially interested in working with stones that have some fascinating local history, or legend. Almost all stones have not just their physical beauty, but they also have deep metaphysical properties that have spiritual, magical, mystical significance. I try to weave this lore into my work because some people, including me, are keenly interested in it. I can’t say for sure that stones possess magical or healing powers. I suspect some do, and I know for a fact there is one stone that I cannot keep close to my body because it makes me sick. But the ancient traditions and mystery wrapped around stones is terribly fascinating. It gives us different ways to appreciate stones. It helps connect us to the earth, and sometimes, beyond.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

When I taught, one of my classes was about personal finance and investment. Through that, I became interested in macroeconomics and where money comes from. I was shocked when I grasped the implications of our present day fractional reserve system, and I began looking at Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as a possible hedge. I offer jewelry on a blog, TomsCoolJewels.blogspot.com, and have accepted bitcoin there. I probably never would have tried OpenBazaar were it not for my Twitter friend, @BitcoinBelle, who encouraged me to have a look. So I did, and I liked the store format. It’s neat and simple, way easier than adding new jewelry to my blog. So the store went up, with some bumps to be sure, but I am happy with how it looks.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

I am extremely pleased with how my store looks and how easily I can add new products. There were hurdles to jump to get there. The two main problems were overcoming connection problems and making a server that would be up all the time (I finally settled on a low power single board unix computer called the NVIDIA Tegra TK1).

The disappointment is there does not appear to be throngs of willing buyers jamming into my store and taking all my product, paying in bitcoin :) Part of this might be an OpenBazaar critical mass problem.

Another piece of the puzzle is bitcoin’s volatility. When the dollar value of bitcoin fluctuates 30% up or down, the coin becomes more a tool for speculators than for trading in goods and services. When Bitcoin goes up, it’s the equivalent of deflation in the fiat world. There is no incentive to buy now when you can hold onto your money and buy the same product for less if you wait. This is an impossible situation for business, whether we are talking about dollar deflation or bitcoin deflation.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

I feel I am quite familiar, actually. I understand the way the blockchain works and how blocks must be solved, I’ve tried mining my own bitcoin, but soon gave that up when the block rewards didn’t even come close to paying the electric bill.

What changes would you like to see to OpenBazaar to make it more useful for you?

Keep improving the client and server software to make it easy and idiot-proof for users so OpenBazaar can increase its user base. Prospective store owners are not necessarily wanting to spend hours of time fussing over computer issues. I would love to see a sort of bitcoin/currency exchange system developed whereby buyers could pay in dollars or maybe other fiat currencies. Right now, I suspect a good piece of business is lost because there aren’t enough buyers that hold bitcoin they want to spend, but they might be willing to use dollars. Along a similar line, a great improvement would be to make it possible to update all my prices so they reflect fluctuating bitcoin exchange prices. Right now when bitcoin goes up a lot versus the dollar, I have to edit each of my products to bring the price in line with the new dollar value. If I could tie my prices to the dollar and then list a bitcoin price that adjusts automatically, it would be a great time saver. (EDIT: This is possible by setting prices to your present fiat currency in Settings!)

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Weekly Development Update: November 11, 2016

Marketing Your OpenBazaar Shop - Online Webinar

Special Event

This month we are offering our first special webinar event to empower OpenBazaar vendors to attract customers in this unique space. Read more about this event on November 14th and sign up here!

Current version

  • Testing for version 1.1.9

2.0

OpenBazaar 2.0 Transaction Screen

Front End:

  • Cleaned up the Transaction section
  • Wired in the ability to delete a listing from both the Listing Card and the Listing Detail modal
  • Worked on displaying a pop in message on the Store and Listing Detail modal when the user has changed some listing data and recommending they refresh the view
  • Started to work on the ‘list’ view style view of the Store (as opposed to the ‘grid’ view style)

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OpenBazaar Hackathon with Duosearch and Blockchain: Money in London

Last week a few members of our team had the opportunity to travel to London to co-host the first organized OpenBazaar hackathon along with Duosearch and our CEO, Brian Hoffman, presented the next day at Blockchain: Money.

On November 5th, the hackathon was hosted in the beautiful Canary Wharf business district at Level39, Europe’s largest technology accelerator for finance, retail, cyber-security and future cities technology companies​. The teams worked all day on their projects and we ended up with 7 demos at the end! See the summary below:

 


Oops, went off on the count, here! This was #6 and the following was #7

Again mistaken, this was #7!

The results were impressive, we were intrigued to see how many working projects the attendees produced. This kind of collaboration is an important part of the continued evolution of OpenBazaar and we are so glad to know there is such support and understanding for the project out there. Very soon will be working to facilitate more of these kinds of events!

In which places around the world would you like to see more hackathons organized?

November 6th & 7th was Blockchain: Money at etc. Venues 155 Bishopsgate, an exceptional conference venue in the heart of the city. It hosted an excellent lineup across 2 full days of thought leaders within the blockchain and financial technology space. The event had a significant focus on Bitcoin specifically within the blockchain sphere which we were pleased to see. It was great to connect with friends new and old and to support Brian’s presentation of OpenBazaar in the context of its present and evolving abilities to facilitate trade directly on top of Bitcoin.


A big thanks to Duosearch and the Blockchain: Money team for having us join them in these events and to everyone who attended either or both with us! We are excited to travel around the world and see the ways Bitcoin is being adopted and the kind of impact OpenBazaar is having for more and more people wanting to help facilitate truly free trade with no borders.

Here are a few more images of some of the amazing views we experienced around London:

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