Shopping online is pretty excellent, right? It’s really one of the most powerful features of the internet today. How great is it that we can connect to businesses around the world from just about anywhere we are and have things delivered right to us?
But we now know there are some big downsides, too. What about all those extra fees to cover things like platform costs and payment processing? All of your private data like your address and financial information is stored on these networks which is a big risk to you if it ever gets hacked. Everything you do on these networks is spied on. Then you get ads from the spies so they can try to take more of your money!
OpenBazaar helps people shop online but with a couple of very important differences:
The OpenBazaar Network Is Made of People.
OpenBazaar is decentralized which means the whole network is made up of just the computers that run the software and, of course, the people who own them. There are no big companies jacking up fees, taking a cut, pumping you full of ads, or deciding what you get to see.
OpenBazaar Uses Cryptocurrencies for Payments.
This means people anywhere in the world can buy and sell things with each other and not worry about added costs for platform use, crazy transaction fees or exchange rates for international currencies. If you want to buy something from someone in another country… you can! Cryptocurrencies work everywhere.
Shopping with cryptocurrency works a little differently than with cash or credit cards but our mission with OpenBazaar is to make it easy. Here are four other features that you need to know about when you spend Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on OpenBazaar:
1. Multiwallet for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash and Litecoin
OpenBazaar now has a multiwallet built right into it. This means you can use your choice of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash and/or Litecoin (with Ether and others coming soon) right inside the application. Vendors can accept all of these coins by default as well and many of them choose to so you can shop with your favorites.
2. Different Payment Types to Help Protect your Coins
How do you keep your cryptocoins safe on a marketplace where there is no centralized company to insure your purchase and send you a refund in the event you’re unhappy? With futuristic innovation and good old fashioned people power, that’s how.
OpenBazaar offers 2 major payment types: direct and moderated.
A direct payment is when you send your coins directly to the seller to start your transaction. This is like handing someone cash but over the internet. Once you hand over the money there’s no way to get it back, unless the seller chooses to give you a refund. Be cautious!
A moderated payment is when you send your coins to a 2-of-3 multisignature account that includes you, the seller and a moderator. A moderator is just another user on the network who has offered their moderation services to help in the case of a dispute. This like using an escrow service because 2 of the 3 parties involved in the transaction must agree for the coins to be released. Generally the buyer and seller agree but in the case of trouble with the transaction, either one of them can reach out to the moderator for help. Learn more about the details of payment types here.
3. Moderator Types to Make Choosing a Moderator Easier
Anyone can become a moderator on OpenBazaar so it’s very important to choose someone who is trustworthy. You may notice that some listings have an orange shield on them which signals that the seller has one or more OB1 Verified Moderators to choose from. An OB1 Verified Moderator has submitted some reputation & identity information to OB1, the company leading the development of OpenBazaar, to demonstrate they are more likely to be trustworthy.
If a seller does not have moderators or OB1 Verified Moderators listed on their item but you would like to use one on your transaction, just message the seller to request it. If they decline, proceed with caution unless you know and trust them and are willing to risk your coins.
4. Different Listing Types So You Can Easily Search for Items, Services, Digital Goods and Cryptocurrencies
We often use the word “thing” to describe what’s for sale on OpenBazaar but did you know that people can also sell things that are not just physical things? Since its inception OpenBazaar users have listed “things” you may think of right away like books, clothing and art, but also “things” like real estate, internet hosting space and temporary rentals…the last two of which start to blur the line between “thing” and “service.”
Services are also a distinct listing type available in OpenBazaar. People have listed translation, design, coding or other business services. Even ridesharing! (Wait, is that also on the blurry line of service/thing too?)
Another listing type available is digital goods like ebooks, music, stock photos, game codes, gift cards and more. These items are particularly popular because they don’t require anyone to wrestle with the sometimes complicated logistics of shipping physical items. Digital goods also don’t require you to share your identity with the other party. You can buy and sell as many digital items as you like without ever sharing your identity information.
The final listing type available right now is cryptocurrencies. Yes, they are digital goods too, but they’re distinct enough to merit a separate listing type. You can trade over 1,500 cryptocurrencies right in OpenBazaar. Just look around for the coins you want, select a listing, set your quantity from a seller’s available inventory, and pay for them with BTC, BCH, ZEC or LTC. The seller will then send them to your wallet and you can complete the transaction!
Want To Learn More about Shopping with Cryptocurrencies on OpenBazaar?\ Check out these other posts that will help you get started: