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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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!)

Read More

OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Ledger

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today our featured shop is Ledger, a leading producer of hardware wallets in the entire cryptocurrency space! Read their story below and shop Ledger on OpenBazaar.

Just want to browse? Check them out on Duosearch and at LedgerWallet.com

 

Ledger Bitcoin Hardware on OpenBazaar


Tell us a bit about yourself?

We’re Ledger, a hardware security company manufacturing hardware wallets. We’re a team composed of 18 people, most of them engineers (electronics/hardware, software, design…) including a team of security veterans with 20 years of experience in the secure element industry. Our company has been selling its products for almost two years now.

What do you make or sell?

We design, develop, manufacture and sell cryptocurrency hardware wallets based on Secure Elements. Our first product the Ledger Nano was a commercial success, and we now manufacture more advanced devices featuring screens and buttons (Ledger Nano S), touchscreen, Bluetooth and NFC (Ledger Blue, coming next month). Those new devices allow users to develop their own applications and to extend their capabilities: right now, they support Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, FIDO Authentication, SSH and PGP, but more apps and uses are coming. We sell in more than 200 countries.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

We like the idea of a decentralized marketplace as much as the idea of the decentralized currency!

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

Good! Creating a listing, selling and communicating with customers is easy and our server has been running smoothly for the last 6 months. There is one thing, however,  preventing us (and similar or bigger companies) from selling most of the time: there is no granular management of shipping and taxes (see last question).

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

Some people at Ledger have a significant Bitcoin balance, and our engineers understand how Bitcoin works, which is of course crucial to developing our firmwares, software and backends.

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

We think it is very important for OpenBazaar to implement granular (but of course optional) shipping and taxes management. Companies should be able, for each listing, to set a shipping cost and a tax rate for each destination country, using an “Expert Mode” or something similar.

This would cover most, if not all, problems arising when selling worldwide. When a cost or a tax changes, OpenBazaar won’t even have to change anything: the user can simply change his parameters.

Read More

OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Bitcoin Not Bombs

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today our featured shop is Bitcoin Not Bombs, another of our great community members that has been active from day 1! Read their story below and shop Bitcoin Not Bombs on OpenBazaar.

Just want to browse? Check them out on Duosearch and at BitcoinNotBombs.com

 

Bitcoin not Bombs on OpenBazaar

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My background is in media production but I don’t get to do much of that these days. In 2008 I became interested in economics and caught the silver bug and alternative currencies became a hobby of mine. When I first heard about Bitcoin in 2011 I was immediately intrigued. In 2012 I started selling silver dime cards on Bitmit.net and began working with Davi Barker on creating more products we could sell. In 2013 Davi and I took the Bitcoin Not Bombs product line to the first US Bitcoin conference in San Jose, we were blown away by the response. We knew this would be a great niche market but at that one event we sold out of almost everything we had. Back then people were buying products for bitcoin just to show support for the currency. I see a lot of that same excitement with OpenBazaar today.

The Bitcoin Not Bombs logo has been printed on t-shirts, hoodies, lapel pins, patches, stickers, shot glasses and other small items over the last few years. We have also collaborated on a few large art projects like the world’s first coin operated voting machine. The brand and logo means different things to different people and we like it that way. These days we have reduced our inventory to only the small items sold on OpenBazaar and Purse.io. Many of Davi’s t-shirt designs can be found at store.bitcoin.com and a lot of our work goes to supporting antiwar efforts.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

Because it matters, though I’m somewhat disappointed that less than 300 vendors are still actively selling items on the network. I know thousands more have downloaded the client and set up stores but lost interest. In the summer of ‘15 one of the OB developers asked us if we could list our small low risk items when the software became available. I was ready with our first listing on day one, a lapel pin that supports the FreeRoss.org campaign. In some ways OpenBazaar is the conclusion of the Silk Road experiment, I wanted people to see that connection and offer this lapel pin from the beginning.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

Great! Things where buggy in the beginning but I was happy to ride that out, I saw the development team pushing updates constantly so I knew it would get better fast. Things run very smooth now and I still get a few orders a month, I suspect everyone will see a second wave of orders once version 2.0 is available.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

Fairly familiar, I’m not a programmer or computer expert but I have read a lot of technical information on how Bitcoin works. One reason I stuck with it was that I knew it would only be a few years before the wallets became extremely easy to use. At this point you don’t need to know how Bitcoin works under the hood to use it, but a better understanding of the technology will lead to more adoption.

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

Not having a way to combined shipping cost on orders is my biggest complaint, but I have seen that a better shopping cart system will become available in version 2.0 along with variable data like size and color.

Does your store have any special promotions?

For Bitcoin Black Friday we will offer free US shipping and a free gift for international orders.

Read More

OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Cyberfunks Alliance – Bitcoin Awakens

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today our featured shop is Cyberfunks Alliance‘s event in Austin, TX called Bitcoin Awakens. This unique event is designed to help new users get oriented to acquiring and using Bitcoin through a fun and interactive game. You can find tickets to the event on OpenBazaar and learn more about their philanthropic mission by reading on!

Tell us a bit about yourself?


I am Fred Constantinesco and my co-founder, Rey Poullard, and I started the Cyberfunks Alliance and our aim is to create a broadly-based, widely-accessible, deeply-entrenched network of Urban, tech-savvy Bitcoin enthusiasts in Austin, TX!

At Cyberfunks, we directly address the pain points for user adoption and appeal, such as user experience, price volatility, security, and use cases in the local community. Most Bitcoin conferences spend more time giving presentations and targeting those already in the bitcoin and blockchain ecosystem.

Real engagement. Real use. Real value. An event where everyone leaves Bitcoin literate. Reframing Bitcoin as an immersive adventure will create the peak experiences necessary to shorten the adoption curve from early adopters to the early majority.

What do you make or sell?

We sell tickets to our event Bitcoin Awakens and provide a way for our partner, the Central Texas Food Bank, to accept donations to fight hunger in over 21 counties in Texas.

“Bitcoin Awakens” Event Tickets on OpenBazaar
Our inaugural event, Bitcoin Awakens, on Sunday, November 6th, 2016, 8AM – 8PM, at our headquarters, Urban Co-Lab in Austin, TX. Bitcoin literacy meets fun-filled adventures as players take center stage in a flood of competition, mystery, & camaraderie—based on scenarios from the Star Wars Universe.

Teams of three (3) will solve up to 15 challenges throughout the city of Austin, TX to reveal the coordinates of a secret location for a victory party in honor of the mysterious creator of the Bitcoin protocol.

Selling tickets for crypto events is a no-brainer because the OpenBazaar audience spans worldwide. Eventbrite, Meetup, and other event websites only reach a portion of the world’s population. With OpenBazaar, we sell tickets internationally to anyone, anywhere.

Donations to the Central Texas Food Bank
We are introducing a new way for the community to support one of our partners, the Central Texas Food Bank, by donating bitcoin through our OpenBazaar store. Bitcoin provides a means to make donations transparent, and through OpenBazaar, we are reaching people worldwide.

To make donations transparent, we use the Food Bank’s bitcoin address (1ARxKuBArW8XzJQNGoRC5RZBVqhb4Tx5yx) found on centraltexasfoodbank.org/bitcoin, and you can write off any donation made to the the Food Bank for tax purposes (optional, as anonymous donations are more than welcome!!!).

 

 

Cyberfunks Alliance Bitcoin Awakens Tickets on OpenBazaar

 

 

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

The idea came to me after spending an absurd amount of time helping my mom donate to an organization. The amount of personal details and time required needed to make a simple donation was burdensome and unnecessary. The current donation model bombards people by stealing their time and attention, which is priceless, by inviting counterparty risk and friction to philanthropic campaigns, which removes a lot of incentive for people to give.

OpenBazaar enables “zero-marginal-cost charities” with no interference with government regulation. It’s free to download and use. It’s permissionless, borderless, and available to anyone with a computer and internet connection. OpenBazaar removes many barriers that otherwise exist in banking and philanthropy.

OpenBazaar donations can bring a lot of awareness to causes that need assistance while sending a message to the world about the viability of decentralized marketplace and microdonations. More stories about the “good” a decentralized application can do and the amount of people we can empower are the stories we plan to bring to the entire crypto ecosystem.

 

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

When I heard about OpenBazaar before the beta release, all I knew is I wanted to be involved.

I joined the beta on day one and opened a luxury watch store with a friend from high school called Justin Time. I am not a watch guy, but my buddy, who the director of timepieces at a well-respected diamond company in Dallas, TX, has years of experience in the industry. We decided to partner, and before I knew it, I was spending all my time learning about OpenBazaar.

It has been exciting to see OpenBazaar stores, listings, and community grow. The OpenBazaar Slack channel is an incredible resource for anyone to learn how to use OpenBazaar, regardless of eCommerce or technical experience.

The OB1 crew work like robots and are extremely responsive to questions. Also, OB1 CEO, Brian Hoffman, was the first to donate to the Food Bank while newly hired OB1 developer, Tyler Smith, provides the server to host our store. It truly is a community that all projects in this space can learn from.

 

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

We aren’t Satoshi, but we live Bitcoin daily. No movies or T.V. series provides the amount of comedy, drama (forks), tragedy (hacks), or overall entertainment that the Bitcoin community does.

We teach Bitcoin literacy through Bitcoin Awakens and host weekly Bitcoin Meetups every Monday in Austin, TX.

You don’t need to know everything about Bitcoin & blockchain technologies and there there are plenty of ways to familiarize yourself with the concepts and theory of it. But, we want to teach people how to take advantage of Bitcoin and show them how to apply it in their own lives. We want them to experience Bitcoin and give them the knowledge and power to build a better life for themselves and their family.

 

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

Most of the changes I look forward to will be implemented in version 2.0 (IPFS, Auctions, Inventory Management, statistics, etc.).

However, I do have some suggestions:

  1. Remove the minimum listing price. This would enable micro-transactions and potentially, increase donations to charitable causes. With no minimum price, anyone would be able to list free items they need to get rid of or offer up volunteer opportunities.
  2. Store Templates and the ability to save drafts of store listings.
  3. Pre-schedule the date for listings to be posted.
  4. More third party integrations.

The Cyberfunks Alliance is onboarding potential customers and you can take advantage of the relationship with the customer right from the start. OB Stores interested in donating in-kind any Bitcoin novelty/paraphernalia, hosting services, crypto art, hardware wallets, etc., or offer discounts should reach out to us on our Slack.

Join us as we co-create the inroads for urban, tech-savvy smartphone users to leapfrog inefficient economic infrastructures and reduce dependency upon legacy financial systems in a way that is epic, lucrative and fun.

Join the conversation to empower yourself and others at the Cyberfunks Slack, www.cyberfunks.org.

Read More

OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Bitcoin Mitchell

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today our featured shop is Bitcoin Mitchell, the OpenBazaar outpost of one of our very active community members! You can find Bitcoin Mitchell on OpenBazaar, on Duosearch and at BitcoinInformation.info

Bitcoin Mitchell Store on OpenBazaar

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am Mitchell, a 22 year old IT professional with a Bachelor’s degree who is currently working as a backend developer. I’ve been into Bitcoin since 2013, but heard about it in 2012 from a friend of mine. I did look into it at the time, but downloading the Blockchain took me too long so I quit and never looked back until a year later.

When I started with Bitcoin I was a standard newbie. I didn’t know much about Bitcoin and mostly visited faucets. After a while I found out about BitVegas (now defunct) and starting going there quite often. They had the highest paying faucet at that point in time, but I usually just spent it on the games they had. My favorites were the pig races and the roulette table. I got my first 3BTC from there as there was a discussion between two people and their point of argument was that rich people could help more than poor people because they had the resources to do so. Anyway, to prove their point someone started randomly gifting people Bitcoins. Lucky me!

Around this time I started my own website named BitcoinInformation.info where I wanted to put some information about Bitcoin (I wrote it as BitCoin back then). With the Bitcoins I received I set up my first faucet, which also caused me to register my Bitcointalk account (now called Mitchell, instead of BitcoinInformation). I was the first one to offer both direct Bitcoin withdrawals and Peerbet withdrawals.

I kept the faucet running till 13 December 2013 and BitVegas ended up as a scam during the same month, which was a huge disappointment to me. I spent a lot of time there, made a few Bitcoins, helped BitVegas out with moderating and even helped build their new map. Well, such is life.

Going on, I stayed on Bitcointalk and on 07 January 2015 I became the Dutch Moderator, mostly because I happened to be quite active. Eventually I was assigned as a Patroller as well and started moderating two more sections (Project Development and Beginners & Help). Another big part of my life is my Bitcoin collection which I started on 30 September 2013. That was the day that I bought my first Bitcoin related coin, which was the Bitcoin Specie. I currently own 215 unique cryptocurrency related items of which at least 80% are coins.

What do you make/sell?

I’m currently selling some left over Steam gifts and Silver Wallets, which I am the official seller for on both OpenBazaar and Bitcointalk. And yes, we will be doing a Black Friday sale. 😉

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

I like getting Silver Wallets out to the masses as it’s an amazing looking coin. Also, OB seems like a platform that could get to an eBay level so I would like to be involved with it before this happens.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

Setting up OB was pretty easy on Windows, but when I tried to migrate to a VPS I couldn’t because the DB contained absolute paths. I reported this and it was quickly fixed. After this small hiccup I setup OB on my VPS and it has been running pretty smoothly after setting up a script that checks the OB store servers and restarts it if need be.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

I’m pretty familiar with Bitcoin and how it works. I wouldn’t call myself an expert or even good as I don’t know the exact technical details, but I know enough to understand how it works and I’m able to explain it to others.

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

IPFS would be an amazing start same as TOR support. I’ve missed quite a few messages because of how OB currently works, so IPFS would be a great improvement. Other than that, plugins/extensions would be pretty neat. A very useful example would be Slack integration so that I can be notified on a Slack channel about a product that has been bought.

Read More

OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Stone Banana

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today our featured shop is Stone Banana, a one-of-a-kind custom apparel shop featuring great custom artwork! You can find Stone Banana on OpenBazaar, on Duosearch and at StoneBanana.com

Stone Banana Apparel on OpenBazaar

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a psych/neuroscience lab manager at Purdue by day (sanghalab.com) and an aspiring entrepreneur by night. It was less than a year ago that I realized I wanted to create my own business. Artistic design has always been an interest of mine, and I had sort of stumbled into t-shirt design around the same time I became interested in starting a business. So, Stone Banana became my first go at it!

What do you make?

Stone Banana makes graphic tees. I create the designs, sometimes starting from scratch, sometimes from my other artwork, and sometimes from the photography of others (with their permission :)) I have some other products that I’m currently designing, and hope to use the profits from t-shirts to bring these to market.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

I use OpenBazaar because I love bitcoin and am super excited to participate in a truly open-source market. I’ve done a bit of cryptocurrency mining/trading in the past, but I never felt like I was bringing bitcoin any closer to being mainstream. Not being a coder, participating in OpenBazaar has been a way for me to help advance not only bitcoin, but the idea of truly peer-to-peer markets. (Beyond just talking to my friends and family about it!)

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

It’s been great! Of course I’m very excited for 2.0 and the features that come with it, but 1.0 has done the job of providing a fee-free trading platform that’s allowed my shop to be discovered as well as to complete many transactions successfully!

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

Fairly familiar. I’ve done a good bit of reading and watching Andreas (among others :)) speak on the topic over the last 3 years. I’ve done some mining and trading, and pretty much been an advocate since I first found out about it! But, I’ve never actually bought anything besides other currencies and cloud mining until OpenBazaar!

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

I think the main thing for me right now would be an improved product upload interface, as well as selector options within each product such as size, color etc.

What products/promos are you featuring this season?

I have a great new design in my shop for Halloween! We’ll also be doing a 10% discount through October–then stay connected to see what I’ll be doing for Bitcoin Black Friday!

Read More

OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Coffee Milk Syrup

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today our featured shop is Coffee Milk Syrup and it’s pretty much what it sounds like, shop owner Adana makes her own “coffee syrup” that’s like chocolate syrup—just made with coffee! You can find Coffee Milk Syrup on OpenBazaar, on Duosearch and at CoffeeMilkSyrup.cf

 

Coffee Milk Syrup shop on OpenBazaar, decentralized peer to peer Bitcoin marketplace

 

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I make coffee syrup during the day, and I’m a writer, and a web developer at night. I’m originally from Houston, TX, though I’m currently living in Dallas.

What do you make?

I make Some Awesome Coffee Syrup. It’s similar to chocolate syrup, but it’s made with coffee, so it makes everything taste like coffee.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

I work from home, and getting your product or service out there is hard to do sometimes. I saw OpenBazaar as a way to put myself into a market that would likely appreciate that, and that I was in full control of. I was originally with OpenBazaar when you guys first launched, and I joined in and made a quick store, and within just a few days I had my first sell. With the products that I make and sell, It’s hard to get customers without doing a lot of actual footwork: going to stores, food trucks, and vendors alike, locally. That also limited me on how I was able to sell my product and I think OpenBazaar is exactly where I need to be to get my big start with Coffee Syrup.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

My experience has been great. I am in the Slack community for OpenBazaar and the admin, vendors, and people in general are very helpful and polite. I’ve had questions ranging from “How would I setup my name properly” all the way to “how do I migrate my OB server from Windows to Linux” and I’ve had all of my questions answered thoroughly. The community for OpenBazaar is full of great people.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

Quite familiar with it. I have traded across the exchanges and used bitcoin locally to buy food, or books even. I like the usability of it and of course bitcoin contracts are amazing for vendors like myself.

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

I think that implementing a similar system to “Reviews” would be nice, but have it be something along the lines of “Store Updates,” similar to “News” I suppose. This way, when a store are preparing to put items on sale, say for the Black Friday event, the customers or people that come to the store would be able to know about the sale, through looking at the updates/news tab.
This would help keep the customers in the know about products. If I only had a limited amount of items, I could make a post about how it has a limited inventory and how long the sale would last. It would help with customer questions. Any scheduled downtime could be listed there as well, as about once a week, I take my store offline for about 3-4 hours for system updates.

Read More