New address for OpenBazaar project funds

Update, January 17, 2017: Due to one of the 2-of-3 keyholders losing access to their keys, we’ve transferred the project funds to a new account to ensure all three keyholders have access again. The new fund is still a 2-of-3 multisig and the rest of this post accurately describes the management of the project funds. The QR code and donation address below have both been updated to the most recent address.

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 (updated on January 17, 2017) is 3QxbMjed45NLXnkUg9yYHRgbKCeLyZa4La, and here is the QR code:

OBfundsQR

 

 

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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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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OpenBazaar is Entering a New Phase with Funding

The OpenBazaar core team is excited to announce that we’ve received $1 million in seed funding from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and angel investor William Mougayar to develop the OpenBazaar protocol and client, and build the first business on top of the OpenBazaar network.

The OpenBazaar project was launched in April 2014 and received vocal support from the bitcoin community, who share our vision for a free and decentralized ecommerce platform using bitcoin. OpenBazaar is ambitiously combining several technologies including peer-to-peer networking, Ricardian contracts, decentralized reputation, and multisignature escrow for bitcoin payments. Despite our best efforts as part-time volunteers, progress was slow. The project needed the core contributors to make development a full-time effort in order to release a robust application within a reasonable time-frame.

This funding allows us to commit our full-time resources to develop OpenBazaar. Not only will it allow us to work with the community to finish the first full release of the core protocol and application, but it also gives us the opportunity to create the first business on top of the OpenBazaar network. This business, which we’ve named OB1, will offer services to OpenBazaar users, and aims to bootstrap adoption of decentralized commerce.

OpenBazaar will always be open source and MIT licensed. As a global software community, we’ve intentionally created OpenBazaar so that there are no fees required to use the network, and there is no central authority controlling trade, taking a cut, or monitoring data. As a result, companies such as OB1 cannot act as a central authority on the network. OB1 will aid decentralized commerce by offering services such as dispute resolution, store hosting, and more.

With their history of helping build networks with large user bases and their focus on new decentralized technologies such as bitcoin, Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz are the perfect partners to help OpenBazaar become widely adopted. William Mougayar is a board member as well as angel investor, and brings many years of experience in startups to our team.

OpenBazaar—aided by OB1—can become the platform which makes decentralized commerce online a reality. If the bitcoin community joins us in developing the code further, testing new releases, and adopting it on release, we will succeed.

OpenBazaar has always been community-driven, and the OB1 team will be an important part of the community. But it will only be a part – we’ll follow up this post with another from other OpenBazaar community members. We’ll all work together to make trade free.

The OB1 Team – Brian, Chris, Mike, Nikolas, Sam and Washington

 
 
 
 

Press Release and Images

 

OpenBazaar Team Raises $1M from USV and A16Z to Make Trade Free

Invites a Growing Global Community of Developers to Contribute and Get Involved

Washington, DC, — June 11, 2015 – The core developers of the OpenBazaar project announced today they’ve received a $1 million round of seed funding from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and angel investor William Mougayar that will help fuel their vision of making trade free for everyone, everywhere.

“The Internet has decentralized communications, and Bitcoin has decentralized money, but online commerce still relies on numerous intermediaries,” says Brian Hoffman, the project lead. “OpenBazaar removes the intermediaries and gives everyone – individuals to large companies – the ability to directly engage in trade with anyone in the world, for free.”

OpenBazaar is an open source project, started in April 2014, which uses software to create a decentralized network of buyers and sellers who offer their goods and services directly to each other. The project via GitHub has captured the attention of nearly 1,400 developers worldwide, with about 100 developers having contributed code.

Because the network isn’t centrally controlled, there are no listing or transaction fees, ability to monitor and capture user data, or restrict trade in any way. Unlike many ecommerce platforms and their corresponding payment processors, OpenBazaar can be used anywhere in the world with Bitcoin.

The funding will enable several of the core developers to work full time on further developing the platform, which is currently in its fifth beta release. It will also allow them to create the first company built on the network – named OB1 – which will offer services to OpenBazaar users.

Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz have both invested previously in startups in the Bitcoin space, as well as online marketplaces. William Mougayar, angel investor and board member, is participating in the round and brings decades of ecommerce and startup experience to the team. “USV is excited to support and help OpenBazaar and OB1 realize their vision of delivering a free and open marketplace protocol that ushers in a new era of peer to peer global commerce.”

OpenBazaar is encouraging those interested in this groundbreaking project to find out more and get involved by joining the developer community on GitHub (http://github.com/OpenBazaar) or through their public Slack by requesting an invitation at project@openbazaar.org.

About OpenBazaar

OpenBazaar is a new way to trade online. By running a program on your computer, you can connect directly to other users in the OpenBazaar network and trade with them. This network isn’t controlled by a company, it’s a decentralized network that isn’t run by any organization at all. This means there are no mandatory fees to pay, and that your trade is censorship-resistant.

OpenBazaar uses Bitcoin, a digital currency that is also cheap to use, decentralized, and censorship-resistant.

This project is open source, which means the code is publicly available, can be reviewed, and anyone can join the project, contribute, and suggest changes. OpenBazaar is venture-backed, and comprised of a global team of founders and developers. Follow OpenBazaar on Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, and on their Blog.

OB_Platform_Diagram

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Merchant’s Guide to OpenBazaar Beta 0.4

Note: This blog post is outdated. Read this article for the latest code.

For the fourth beta release, we’re issuing guides for each of the three user types in OpenBazaar: buyer, merchant, and notary. The installation instructions are the same for each user. These guides assume that installation was successful and that the user can reach the client interface in their browser. If you can’t, please check the Github issues and our Help Desk to see if it’s a known issue; if not then open a new issue on the Github or ask a question at our Help Desk.

Quick Start Guide

This guide is meant to get merchants set up and offering goods and services as quickly as possible. For a detailed overview of the entire client, visit here.

Step One: Set up Store

Settings Tab

  1. Click the Settings tab.
  2. Enter a new Nickname for your store. This is how other users will see your store.
  3. If you want a unique image for your store, put in a URL for an image in the Avatar URL field.
  4. Input a Bitcoin address that you control into the Bitcoin Receiving Address field. This is where you receive funds from multisig if the notary needs to take action manually.
  5. Describe your store in the Store Description field.
  6. Click Save.

Step Two: Set Communication Information

communicationOB

  1. Click on the Communication section.
  2. Enter an email address if you want to communicate with other parties via email.
  3. If you have a website that you want displayed, enter the URL in the Your Web Site field.
  4. Enter a Bitmessage address if you want to communicate with other parties via Bitmessage.
  5. Click Save.

Step Three: Create Backup

backupOB

  1. Click on the Backup section.
  2. Click Create New Backup.

Step Four: List your Goods or Services

Create Contract

  1. Click on the Contract tab.
  2. Click Add Contract.
  3. Input product details, including a title and description of your product, as well as the price (in Bitcoin), the cost of shipping, how many items are available, and what condition the items are in.
  4. Add up to three externally hosted images in the photos section.
  5. Make sure you click on the Keyword section next to Photos and input keywords that describe your product. This is how users find your items through the search function. If you don’t add keywords, your items cannot be found via search.
  6. Click Save. This publishes your product to the network.

Step Five: Manage Trade

sellerOB

  1. Manage your sales by viewing the My Sales section under the Orders tab. If you have an order, click on it to display details.
  2. If someone purchases your product, the item will display “Buyer Paid.” Please double check the linked multisig account in the order description to verify; at this point a buyer can mark an item as paid without actually paying.
  3. productOB

  4. Determine if you trust the notary involved. Since at this point the buyer chooses the notary, if the two parties are colluding, they can cheat you out of the Bitcoin. You can view the notary involved by clicking “Contract Details” in the item description. Early in the beta, we recommend test transactions or small transactions until trusted notaries become established.
  5. If you verify the buyer has sent the funds to multisig, and that you trust the notary, then ship the item to the buyer at the address they provided. This address is displayed in the “Shipping Information” tab when viewing the order.
  6. Once you’ve shipped the item, input your Bitcoin address into the Shipping & Payment section of the order view, where it asks “Where would you like payment sent to?”
  7. Once the buyer receives the item, they should release payment. If they don’t in a reasonable time, contact the buyer and request they release funds. If they are non-responsive, contact the notary involved in the transaction and request they release funds.

Step Six: Give Feedback

To make this network and client the best it can be, we need your feedback on how to improve. Bug reports are obviously very helpful, but feedback can be about which new features you’d like to see, or changes to the interface, or anything you like. Please submit these ideas by opening up new Github issues or by posting at out Help Desk.

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OpenBazaar State of the Code; August 2014

To help keep the community aware of OpenBazaar’s progress, I will occasionally publish an overview of where we are at in the project. Here’s our first “State of the Code”.

Beta Release

Two months ago at the Bitcoin in the Beltway Conference I stood in front of the audience and presented our development roadmap for OpenBazaar. The first major milestone was an ambitious one: Beta Release at the end of August.

Brian presenting at Bitcoin Beltway - Image: Magnus
Brian presenting at Bitcoin Beltway – Image: Magnus

When I announced we would be releasing the first beta version of the product I envisioned a fairly small scope and was leveraging the teamwork of just a few individuals. Fortunately, since then our team has grown in size and expertise and that scope has grown. This will make OpenBazaar much more viable as a scalable and powerful solution. Therefore, we have decided to migrate from a simplified Beta then Full Release schedule to a much more nimble and continuous development process. This means that instead of simply launching a product and hoping the community finds it valuable, we are now able to continually work on the development and incorporate feedback from the community as we move forward.

If you’ve been looking forward to testing OpenBazaar out, don’t worry: we will be releasing a version of the software that can be installed on Mac OSX, Linux and Windows on August 31st. As it’s the first Beta, it will be fairly limited in functionality and Sam Patterson will be posting a more detailed outline of this when we release.

Other updates

I won’t even try to list all the developments and progress we’ve made since this project began. To summarize, we have been encouraged by the community support displayed, which has increased our appetite for making this project succeed.

Team Member Updates

OpenBazaar Team Members
OpenBazaar Team Members

We are so excited to have so many great people helping out the project, and to see the number of contributors continue to increase. All of our team members participate for no payment and have contributed a massive amount of personal effort and time to get us where we are now, and for that I know I am grateful and I am pledging as much as I can to the project as well. If you know of others who are interested in assisting, please get in touch with us at project@openbazaar.org so that we can help you figure out where it would be possible.

Formalizing the Organization

Our team is currently looking at different ways to legitimize the project in ways that would benefit the community as a whole. We are not quite sure how this will happen, but rest assured our principles of zero fee operation and openness will remain. That being said, we are considering ways to bolster development and operational support in ways other than a funding address. We will let everyone know if any decisions are made one way or another.

Partnerships

Over the last few months we have received many emails and messages from businesses small and large, who want to start using OpenBazaar as soon as possible.

As we approach the Public Release of OpenBazaar at the end of the year (notional), we will be working with groups to line up some Day 1 merchants, notaries, and arbitration participants. If you are interested in this process please contact us at project@openbazaar.org so that we can get you on our follow up list and help you find out more about how this will work.

We have also been approached daily by almost every altcoin outside of Doge to incorporate it into the project. For the record, we aim to support altcoins capable of multisignature transactions. However, we have no definite timeline for altcoin support to give at this time.

Many of you have donated to the cause (over 5 BTC raised), contributed to our development or written articles or tweets about us and we thank you graciously for all of that.

Final Comments

Overall, the project is heading in a great direction. With the Bitcoin community’s help (and patience), we can deliver a product that will change how we use our Bitcoin for the better. Our goal remains simple: provide an easy to use application that anyone in the world can use to spend Bitcoin (or other crypto-currencies) on goods and services without an intermediary. There is no one way to accomplish this goal. We hope to innovate and inspire others to follow our lead in creating more decentralized services so that we can one day live and interact with each other with true freedom.

Brian Hoffman
Project Lead

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