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.

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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!

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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.

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OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Psychedelic Rock Band Myco

 In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we interview Kyle from the band Myco, which released their new EP exclusively on OpenBazaar for the first week. You can find the Myco store on OpenBazaar, and on Duosearch as well.

 
Tell us a bit about yourself? 
 
My name is Kyle Henry, I’m from Kansas City and started Myco in 2015 after moving back to Kansas City from Hong Kong, where I lived between 2013 and 2015 and taught English as my primary job.

Before moving to Hong Kong I studied botany and mycology and discovered how amazing fungus really is. It is essentially the backbone of ecological systems on land and acts as a decentralized network or internet for organisms on the earth. Plants and fungus form symbiotic relationships and communicate through these fungal networks.

A few years later after I had begun my scientific studies I got involved with bitcoin in 2011 when I started mining them with my GPU. The next year it became pretty much impossible to do so, but I mined about 15 before that happened. While in Hong Kong I continued promoting and using bitcoin and talking to Hong Kong natives about it where ever I went. I found that many people in the tech field there were already aware of bitcoin but most weren’t involved in it. While living there I used bitcoin to transfer money between my bank accounts in the US and Hong Kong. Instead of paying ridiculous fees to do such a thing through my bank I used exchanges and often made a profit when transferring funds.

I ended up moving back to Kansas city in 2015 and started on my project. I’ve been a musician since I was about 14 and I had never officially released anything but music is my passion so I set out to make a project that embodied my beliefs of everything being interconnected and how decentralization and specifically blockchain technology can free us from our slavery.  After writing and recording everything I set out to find band members to play live shows and I’ve gone through many members but eventually asked a good friend of mine Andrew MacIntyre to play drums for me. Then I found an amazing guitarist named Jesse Rodriguez and a bassist named Cory Yeager online who have helped me complete this project.

Myco Band OpenBazaar Store

The first song we released is called “Myceliated” and is essentially about fungus and the effect it has on the universe and the human experience as well as decentralization and how bitcoin can end wars. We released this single with a bitcoin qr code on the cover and had a tremendous response from the bitcoin community. We also put a digital download of this song on OpenBazaar once OpenBazaar went public. Months later after a lot of practice the band is ready to start playing shows and we decided to release our debut 5 song EP exclusively on OpenBazaar on September 22 2016 to show our support for decentralization and freedom. The self titled EP will be released globally on most music platforms in fiat currencies on September 26 2016, but we prefer being paid directly in bitcoin.
 
What do you make / sell?

 

Original psychedelic rock music.

 

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

 

We want to support innovative platforms that make free trade and liberty possible in this ever increasing statist world.

 

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

 

Openbazaar and it’s community has been great to us so far, we have heard nothing but praise from those who have purchased our music and if we have need help with setting anything up or doing anything on OpenBazaar there has always been incredibly helpful people.

 

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

 

I would love to see a feature that allows us to setup a digital download automatically so we don’t have to manually enter everything for every single order. Also, I think it would be great if there were anonymity features built in for other users.. this I believe would push OpenBazaar into the mainstream as it would allow for free trade without the worry of government locking you in a cage.

 

Anything else you’d like to say?

 

My favorite author Aldous Huxley once said in the foreword of his book Brave New World “Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism” When he wrote this in 1932 there was no such movement but now with bitcoin and blockchain technology we have such a movement. Our goal is to spread the message of freedom through decentralization and push the movement further into the mainstream.

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OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Space for eCommerce

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we interview a vendor selling store hosting, Space for eCommerce, who has been connected to the OpenBazaar community since the beginning! You can find Space for eCommerce on OpenBazaar at @storefore/store, on Duosearch here and on their own website at spacefore.com

Space for eCommerce on OpenBazaar

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Brian Dunbar – husband, father of five, Catholic, IT professional since 1990. The majority of my career I’ve been a systems administrator: making sure servers are up and pumping out bits. Systems administration is a speciality that rewards attention to detail and obsessive nitpicking, and I do pretty good with it.

I no longer recall how I heard about OpenBazaar. I had a few days of downtime over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2015. I installed the prototype, played around with testnet. That software, the constant and excellent progress, the folks working for OB1, and the investment they’d attracted, convinced me that OpenBazaar has real potential. Like this;

  • The last thirty years have demonstrated that cheap, de-centralized and open will beat closed, centralized and expensive.
    • There used to be a plethora of network protocols – ways of connecting computers. Token Ring, ARCNet, and many others. Ethernet came along and was (then) inferior to everything else on the market. It was cheap. It was not owned by IBM: anyone could build an ethernet network card. Now, ‘ethernet’ is synonymous with ‘network’. Nobody uses anything else.
    • CompuServe, BIX, AOL, DELPHI, Prodigy used to be ‘the’ way to go online – you paid up each month, logged into a walled garden and did your thing with the community. The world wide web came along and … they are no more.

Examples are legion, I need not belabor the point. They have one thing in common. They were closed and expensive and are now in the museum next to the apatosaurus skeleton.

OpenBazaar is cheap, decentralized and open.

The lesson is clear.

What do you make?

I provide managed hosting for open bazaar stores. I’ll keep the stores running, backup on a regular basis, update when required, and whatever fiddly bits are needed to keep the store online and visible. My market are shop owners, business guys, regular folks who want to sell their goods, and leave the ‘IT stuff’ to the professionals.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

It is, basically, a space that is under-serviced by guys like me. Market opportunity! I hope to become one of the go-to guys for hosting, and leverage that into other services in the OB space.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

Pretty good, thanks for asking.

There are issues – but there are always issues with software, and the OB1 team is kicking ass on bugs. And they’re busy in active development for OpenBazaar 2. I’ve taken it for a spin and it’s going to be a tremendous improvement on the current Open Bazaar.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

I’d heard of Bitcoin but prior to last year I’d never done anything with Bitcoin.

Which is odd, I suppose, because politically I’m Anarcho-Capitalist. I should be thinking about it night, and day.

What can I say – I’m a busy guy. It simply hadn’t come up.

Now .. I’ve got a side project for getting involved with bitcoin mining, and I’m plotting how to get a zcash mining farm up and going … it’s a good life, if you don’t falter.

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

I have a few suggestions. All of them will have to be addressed in order for OpenBazaar to be useful in the long run.

  • Multiple Users and roles
    • Eventually, an actual business with multiple users is going to use OpenBazaar. Those guys operate with multiple people, who have different roles. They’ll demand accountability, and role separation. This isn’t just those guys being anal, but in many cases required by law or auditors.
  • Credentials
    • The credentials are in plain-text configuration file, which value is stored in a database. This works, and it’s reasonably secure. I understand why it’s that way. But we can do better!
  • Failover
    • I want to put a load balancer in front of an OpenBazaar store, running on multiple servers. Downtime for one server does not mean downtime for the store.

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OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Print It!

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we interview a vendor – Print It! – selling items that he 3d prints himself, as well as a 3d printing service. You can find his store on OpenBazaar at @print_it, and on Duosearch here.

I’ve personally bought a few items from the Print It! shop, the most recent being an OpenBazaar tent, of which 50% of his profit he donates back to the project.

OpenBazaar Tent from Print It! store
OpenBazaar Tent from Print It! store

Tell us a bit about yourself?

As many in our community I’m an inquisitive person and very excited about our culture and with it our technical evolution. I’m happy of being a part and a contemporary witness of this development where people get the chance to express their true nature and explore their full potential in a growing free society.

What do you make / sell?

In my eyes my main product is the 3D printing service. Everyone who invests some hours on tutorials about CAD software, will be surprised how easy it is to bring an abstract idea into a digital shape. The next logical step would be to convert that digital shape into an analog one. The digital step is free to go thanks to people who are developing amazingly complex, but easy to use CAD tools like Blender for example.

The second step unfortunately isn’t free at all. If you’re not a designer who’s testing several prototypes, you’ll think more than twice about buying a 3D printer. Especially if you’re keen on highest quality and accuracy, and don’t want to be limited by a cheap printer, which only produces frustration.

The other products in my shop have two main goals: To provide useful tools or gadgets and to help people getting in touch with 3D printing. They can also be seen as a demonstration of whats possible with such a diverse usable technique.

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

The steady and fast growing community of makers have shown that there is so much more potential in our society. More and more people are realizing that they can accomplish more than just following the mainstream by consuming products which are dictated by fancy advertisements. Everything can be improved forever, by everyone. It just needs someone who is curious enough to think around the corner.

Openbazaar itself is a great example. When I first started modeling prototypes and finally got the chance to buy a high quality 3D printer, I asked myself, why not sharing this opportunity with everyone else who is interested in converting their ideas into real models or gadgets?

Print It! OpenBazaar storefront
Print It! OpenBazaar storefront

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

When I used OpenBazaar the first time, I was amazed how professional everything looked and how easy it was to set up a simple but nicely designed shop. It’s more than obvious that the OB1 team did a really great job on it. And the best thing is that implementing and supporting a very social and equal structure is one of their main goals. It’s a great community in every way and just nice to help other people or receive help from others.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

I’m using Bitcoin since 2013 and realized very soon, that the best thing that can happen to a cryptocurrency is just being used as a currency. This whole speculation thing is not creating a real value. OpenBazaar hopefully will be a huge help for bitcoin to achieve its real purpose.

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

The main steps to improve this already awesome app would be the implementation of IPFS and Tor. But as far as I know you’re already working on this.

Although I sell legal stuff, I’d like to see the option to delete fulfilled orders or at least the addresses of buyers. When tor hopefully gets implemented this would be a very important thing to protect the privacy of buyers.

Another thing would be a solution to the problem, that a lot of bitcoins get lost in escrow when the buyer forgets to finalize the order and the chosen mod isn’t reachable either. Maybe a deadline would be nice to release the funds, when there is no response from the buyer and the mod anymore. Another wish would be, that the step from OB 1.0 to OB 2.0 wont result in a “reset” of every shop in the aspect of followers and reviews. I think I speak for every vendor on OpenBazaar that good reviews and many followers are a result of hard work, in which case it would be a pity to loose them all.

Anything else you’d like to say?

I’d like to thank everyone in the community and OB-Team making all this possible whats just happening right now. Special thanks to @sampatt for being this careful and interested in everyone’s opinion!

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OpenBazaar Ecosystem: Crypto Collectibles

In these posts we take a look at some unique members of the OpenBazaar ecosystem. Today we interview a vendor selling comic books, Crypto Collectibles, who has one of the largest inventories on the network. You can find Crypto Collectibles on OpenBazaar at @crypto_collectibles/store, and on Duosearch here.

Crypto Collectibles

Crypto Collectibles store currently has 872 listings, making it the second largest store on the network. The store has been around since OpenBazaar launched in April, and has been active in the Slack community, the subreddit, and on Twitter.

His store has a big variety of comic books; I’ve purchased twice from him myself, including an old Casper comic for my daughter.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Crypto Collectibles was actually started over two years ago through a merchant hosting site Moolah.io, accepting payments for comic books in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin, while having a sister store open on Etsy for products that fit into their ‘antique’ rule, being 20 years or older.  History was not kind to Moolah.io unfortunately for myself and all other stores that were using the hosting services, so comics were limited to being sold on Etsy for the past couple of years.

What do you sell?

Mostly comic books at the moment, but general geek merchandise, promotional items, and or collectibles of any sort is up for sale.

Snapshot from his Duosear.ch page
Snapshot from his Duosear.ch page

Why are you selling your product on OpenBazaar?

Multiple reasons, supporting crypto, supporting meaningful new tech, and of course no listing fees with maximum possible audience.

How has your experience been with OpenBazaar so far?

Rough moments, but mostly good.   I feel slightly more comfortable in a Linux environment, that is a weird bonus that has come from this experience as an early adopter that I think users who are jumping on to OpenBazaar now will never have to worry about dealing with.  It is their loss, but the point and click ease that we all desire a Bitcoin app would have where it is so easy anyone can do it, is just around the corner with OpenBazaar.   My experience from using OpenBazaar from day one until now has shown OB1 devs are working every single day, there is a ton of other people into Bitcoin who can code who are helping the OB1 devs, every issue seems to be being addressed directly now or is on the roadmap.

How familiar are you with Bitcoin?

Fairly to very.

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

Stability. Little tweaks here and there, the little additions.  An example for me would be multiple items can be combined and have just one shipping cost.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Best of luck to any new stores being created.  To those who have tried OpenBazaar in the past but was there in the first month of release when things were a little borked, give it a spin again, check out DuoSear.ch or Bazaar Hound the mobile app, make a purchase, be forgiving as an early adopter of something new, tell a friend, support crypto.

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