New Version 2.0 Development Release Schedule

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OpenBazaar version 2.0 development continues, and we’ve decided to change our development release schedule. Previously we posted our roadmap which contained various milestones where we would create developer releases for people to test new functionality. We’re still keeping the milestones, and will still publish releases when we reach each new milestone, but in order to get more frequent testing and community feedback we’ll also be publishing developer builds every two weeks. We develop based on two week sprint periods, so at the end of each sprint we’ll release a new build for people to test.

Yesterday was the last day of our current sprint, and so we’re releasing the first build – version 2.0.1 – under this new schedule. Note that these are developer builds which are meant to be used for testing only. You can find the latest build here.

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Development Update: Spring Cleaning

The Milestone 1 developer release of OpenBazaar 2.0 is available and Milestone 2 will be released in early April!

Here is a recap of the capabilities of the Milestone 1 release:

Milestone 1 Summary

This release is meant solely for developers and those building or intending to build on top of the OpenBazaar platform. You can read more about what the release entails here.

Since this is a release meant for development, the functions available in Milestone 1 are very minimal. They include:

  • 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

 

Here is what’s been happening in the OpenBazaar development universe so far in March:

Version 2.0

  • Managing a variety of pull requests (PRs)
  • Small patches and changes on the front and back end
  • OB1 Co-Founder Dr. Washington Sanchez has secret project that has been turning out way better than he expected. Make sure you bug him on Twitter to try to get more information out of him on this one.

OpenBazaar Version 2.0 Website Homepage Design

OB1

  • Development of the new OpenBazaar.org website is almost complete
  • Settling into our new project management system to be able to pin down & announce a full release date for Version 2.0
  • Interviewing for a new front end development role
  • Getting healthy as some of our team has been dealing with various winter illnesses. Good thing spring will be here next week!

 


Are you a developer who wants to get involved in this early stage of Version 2.0 development?
Get the details here!

Want to start RIGHT NOW buying and selling with Bitcoin using Version 1.0?
Download OpenBazaar

 

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An Established Brand Meets New eCommerce Technology

BMW M Power Store on OpenBazaar

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem and share their stores. In this post we are exploring a store that boasts a brand you may already know called BMW. Yes, like the cars! But no, while cars could be sold through OpenBazaar, they aren’t here at the moment, but you can get some great promotional items available in BMW M Power Store. You can check it out in your browser or on OpenBazaar here.

The owner of this store is choosing to remain anonymous but still took the time to share about their experience and what’s motivated them to sell on OpenBazaar!

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you make/sell?

I live in Munich, Germany but originally I was born in Bulgaria. I own a BMW sports car and I am a big fan of the brand. I work in a branch of BMW Group in Munich and use OpenBazaar to promote the brand as well.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

I believe Bitcoin is the invention of our generation and is the next big thing after the Internet.I am not a tech guy so I don’t have much to say about development but I do support this technology as much as I can. I use it as payment when possible, just some small transactions in order to show my support, and I use to trade it against some alts in an exchange. I am not very familiar with trading so I don’t do this much, though.

Most of all, I am person who doesn’t support the power of governments and banks over people so any chance I have in life to disrupt the System I embrace with love :) Peer 2 Peer trading and for sure Bitcoin are two things that allow me to do this in a practical way.

How did you find out about OpenBazaar?

I first read about it on Twitter and thought I’d give a shot!

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

I use Bitcoin in my daily life, I am a fan of BMW, and I support the anti-bank and agorism movements. Those 3 things combine perfectly in OpenBazaar!

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

I don’t earn anything for myself by selling the BMW items that I do in OpenBazaar, I just do it for the pleasure of promoting the brand and promoting the use of Bitcoin. The OB community is very wise and so far any small issues that I have had are resolved quickly and easy by the members in Slack! OB1 Co-Founder Dr. Washington Sanchez has also helped me a lot running my nodes and I really appreciate the personal care.

 


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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The Dangers of —and Fix for —”Fake Markets”

The Dangers of--and Fix for--Fake Markets with free trade through OpenBazaar

 

The Internet facilitates an astounding (and ever-increasing) amount of commerce in our world. Allowing people to communicate with each other anywhere in the world and at low cost has ushered in an new era of global trade.

However, a few powerful organizations wield great influence over commerce online, and they have used their power to set up a rigged game. A “fake market.”

Anil Dash recently wrote an article entitled “Tech and the Fake Market tactic” which gives examples of how a few companies have creating markets online that appear fair, but in reality are tilted in their own favor:

  • Google’s results showing Google products first
  • Amazon displays it’s own products over better alternatives
  • Uber drivers’ rates aren’t decided by the drivers but set by Uber

These companies aren’t doing anything you wouldn’t expect them to do — they are using their popularity to give themselves a further advantage. But as these companies’ share of online commerce grows, their ability to further manipulate the markets in their favor grows as well. It’s not hard to imagine how Google, Amazon, or other huge companies on the Internet could further their positions as “default” services by manipulating what their users see for their own benefit.

These companies also collect the data of all their users for their own purposes, charge fees when users sell on their platforms, and censor trade based on their own interests or on behalf of governments. They act as gatekeepers into their own tightly-controlled system. Most users aren’t aware they are seeing a rigged market, and even if they do realize it they aren’t aware of any alternatives.

What can be done about these rigged markets? In his article Anil suggests the following course of action:

Perhaps the single most effective action we can take is to educate our elected officials about the changes that are happening.

I disagree with Anil that elected officials are the right people to solve this problem. Their only tool is the application of law, which is a powerful but blunt instrument. Politicians don’t have a compelling track record when it comes to understanding new technologies. Regulators are often strongly influenced by the people they are regulating — a term called “regulatory capture” — and these powerful companies would try to help make the new rules end up in their favor.

There’s a more compelling way to address rigged markets: bypass the gatekeepers of online commerce altogether.

Their power comes from the centralized nature of the existing commerce platforms. They control the center; they control the commerce.

Fortunately, a handful of emerging technologies gives us the ability to fix these rigged markets once and for all. But new markets are emerging that have no center to control. They are decentralized, meaning each user in these markets connects directly to other users. These markets have no gatekeepers; there are no gates to keep in a completely peer-to-peer marketplace. Decentralized markets also have no fees, no data collection, and no censorship.

They can’t be rigged.

It’s not possible to have a truly open and transparent marketplace when one party controls the entire market. But online markets can be fair and free. Not because some elected officials may demand it, but because decentralization creates a level playing field where no one has an advantage over anyone else.

Decentralized tools such as OpenBazaar and Bitcoin are already being used as an alternative to the dominant online commerce platforms and payment methods. If you want to participate in online commerce that is fair and free, trying using them today.


Ready to fight back against fake markets?
Download OpenBazaar now!

 

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Guiding Great Development – The OpenBazaar Process

Guiding Great Development - The OpenBazaar Process

 

 OpenBazaar Front End Lead Josh Jeffryes describes the evolution of OB1’s collaboration process for our entirely remote team building the decentralized marketplace, OpenBazaar:

The OB1 Process

Building great products requires a great process. As the OpenBazaar platform has grown, so has the way we work together to build it. We’ve continuously improved how we plan and execute our work, and as we near the release of version 2 of OpenBazaar, we’d like to share some insight into those improvements with you.

The Minimal Viable Process

OpenBazaar started as a side project, and at the start we had a side project process. We used Slack and Github, and kept things informal. As we grew into a full-time startup, with a fully remote team distributed across the world, we needed a startup process.

When your idea and team are small, a minimal process is ok. The idea fits in everyone’s minds, and you agree on what it is. But as the idea grows, it stops fitting, and the parts in each mind may not match. You need an external map so those parts still fit together when you’re done.

Introducing Agile

Without a process to create that map, you spend most of your time maintaining agreement about what you’re building, instead of building it.

This is where Agile was a critical tool for us. We constructed a process from Agile patterns, and added or removed patterns as we went.

We began by defining each feature needed for OpenBazaar version 2. Then we organized those features into sprints of 2 weeks each. This makes it possible to know if a UI feature will be built in sprint 6, the back end functionality needs to be built in spring 5, the design in sprint 4, and the specifications in sprint 3. Technical details were fleshed out in regular planning sessions before each sprint.

Trello was our tool for sprint organization. It’s simple and easy to use. Github was used to track issues, bugs, and technical specifications, and designs were shared with Zeplin.

More Collaboration Means Less Everything Else

If you don’t use the same map, you don’t arrive at the same place. We stay on the map by constantly building it together.

Before any feature is worked on, we work together to define it over video conferencing, first as a user story (“the user wants to do “x”), then a design, and finally a detailed set of technical requirements.

When a feature is done, the code is reviewed by the whole team. A lead reviewer gives detailed feedback, but other members, even non-technical ones, comments on what the feature does and how it works.

Always Improving

We continue to improve and change our process. We’ve added back in some Agile patterns we discarded previously as too structured. When our sprints became more formal, with set planning, review, and retrospectives, Trello started to strain under the level of detail we needed. We moved to Jira, which allowed us to set up a customized process.

The OpenBazaar platform becomes stronger every day because we constantly iterate, test, and improve it. Like every great startup, we treat our process the same way.

ICYMI

In case you missed it, here is other notable news from the last couple of weeks:

OpenBazaar project “Bazaar Loans” wins second place in Distributed: Markets Blockchain Hackathon


Are you a developer who wants to get involved in this early stage?
Get the details here!

Want to start RIGHT NOW buying and selling with Bitcoin using version 1.0?
Download OpenBazaar now!

 

 

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