What’s more, is that there will be no fees involved to trade within the OpenBazaar marketplace; whereby allowing sellers to escape the restrictiveness and unheavenly fees imposed by eBay.
These extremely compact contracts (~4 kb file) can be sent to and/or downloaded from anywhere. Once downloaded, they can then imported into the OpenBazaar client, which takes it from there. To the greatest extent possible, the idea behind this is to empower sellers by not restricting them to a specific commercial site platform.
In this regard, OpenBazaar effectually becomes a distributed network very similar to BitTorrent; except distributing contracts as the file type. Ricardian Contracts for physical goods will also be supported, as well as user-definable custom data fields that either the OpenBazaar client or a custom app can parse.
Because OpenBazaar uses Ricardian Contracts to manage trades, potential support for autonomous agents is certainly feasible. Similar to autonomous Open Transactions Nyms, these autonomous agents could:
The OpenBazaar Dev Team is proactively implementing a robust combination of anti-fraud measures such as multisig/voting pools, arbitration, surety bonds, good performance bonds, as well as other highly desirable risk-mitigation technologies.
A few examples include:
Timelocking is where a specified amount of Bitcoin remains unavailable for a certain amount of time; during which your Nym identity remains valid. You will then be able to redeem the money once this amount of time has passed.
Proof-of-burn is where the creation of a Nym corresponds to the provable destruction (i.e. “burning”) of Bitcoin; specific to that particular Nym. The term “burning” bitcoins is somewhat of a misnomer, as it’s actually a donation to every other Bitcoin holder in the world. In the case of timelocking, the duration of the timelock is publicly visible.
However, in both cases the amount burned or timelocked is publicly visible. These parameters then can be applied to determining buyer/seller trustworthiness. Naturally, this will put a higher value on Nyms that choose the proof-of-burn model.
Another exciting feature of OpenBazaar is the ability to add keywords to your listings; searchable across the entire network, as well as the ability to filter out specific search terms. The likely direction OpenBazaar will be going, is to encrypt listings for storage. This has the added benefit of helping insure users against certain types of heinous events, such as child porn haphazardly ending up on their hard drive.
For more information: OpenBazaar.org
Photo via KamrenB Photography/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) and Shutterstock.
Last modified: July 22, 2014 12:06 UTC