You can view the server (Go) here:
And client here:
How do you intend to prevent sybil attacks on seller ratings? Since there are no account sign ups and subsequent verifications, it would be theoretically possible to create a large number of accounts with fake reviews.
There are a few factors that still make reviews somewhat useful though. People can choose to attach their name, and if they are reputable then their review matters more than an anon account. Reviews also can only be left when there is a full record of trade having occurred, and funds have moved (verified on the blockchain), so at the very least an attacker is paying cryptocurrency fees for each false rating.
But ultimately there's a lot of work to be done in decentralized reputation. The work of projects like Trust is Risk seems promising (we've supported their efforts):
Could there be a way to leave identity and parties involved anonymous, yet track count and/or value of transactions without knowing what they were?
If this were possible, some weighting could be assigned to reviews based on count and/or value of transactions, to somewhat combat a review bomber willing to pay for many small transactions. In a sense it would raise the cost of a fake review campaign.
I bet if you gave users the option to have only count and value of their transactions public, in exchange for some sort of “trusted reviewer” status badge, that a significant number would opt in to it, because people like to earn badges and points for reasons more motivating that we intuitively think.
edit: better yet, allow opt in to have your transaction count and value incrementee on a per transaction basis, so you could earn reputation power or not depending on the marketplace or persons dealt with.
side note: I think the “free sub” episode on Seinfeld may have been the first reference to gamification mechanics on television.
We haven't seen review bombing attempted yet, but if someone were willing to pay a bunch of fees then I suppose it is possible to do.
A spammer could easly bypass that with capital/hardware.
The question is always just "Will the cost of fraud exceed the benefits of fraud" and if that is true, no one in his right mind will do it.
That woudl IMO mean that once you have 10k reviews you can
scam some customers without worry.
Or, can I pay for a product from multiple addresses and leave many reviews?
It's based on the concept of the Ricardian Contract by Ian Grigg, adapted to become a ledger. This allows trade to continue asynchronously.
How does OpenBazaar compare to something like ebay or alibaba in terms of both usability and fees? Does it have an edge?
Also while I greatly value distributed infrastructure in general I'm not sure I see the advantage for an e-commerce platform. When I buy something through a respectable platform I like the guarantees provided by the 3rd party in case something goes wrong. It's actually a feature for me, not a drawback.
I think OpenBazaar only advantage is freedom of censorship, although if lightning ever becomes a thing it could compete on fees.
> When I buy something through a respectable platform I like the guarantees provided by the 3rd party
If OpenBazaar manages to implement a solid reputation system in addition to smart contracts and escrow-like functionality, it could offer relatively good guarantees of service like some of the centralized darknet websites do.
Isn't the guarantee already baked into smart contracts and escrow-like functionality? I mean that the deal, or money transfer only happens if both parties agree, e.g. you greenlighting the transaction after receiving and inspecting the good.
It is possible as long as smart contract backed by money from both parties. Customer buy item for $5, but both seller and customer additionally put $10 each into contact and these money remain locked until both parties confirm that everything is fine. Once confirmed seller get his $5 and customer already have his goods, $10 become available for both parties again.
This scheme worked on other online payment systems even decade ago and require zero trust.
PS: This obviously just an example and not how it work on OpenBazaar and there is detailed post from developers in comments.
Suppose that a Canadian buys a DVD from a German, some Chinese guy is elected by the system as arbiter. The Canadian guy claims he hasn't received the DVD. What does the arbiter do? Book a ticket for Canada to check it out? Ask the German to send him the DVD first so that he can forward it? What if the chinese guy steals it and claims he's forwarded it then?
Here's how Bisq does it:
>Arbitrator follows a protocol to request additional information from both parties and renders his decision based on acquired evidence.
Well that's very nice, how do you prove that you haven't received anything? What if you've received something but it's broken? Or not the thing you wanted? It seems so easy to game the system.
I have a hard time believing that distributed arbitration system like the one you're talking about could beat the speed, scale and efficiency of our current infrastructure. Maybe for certain niches it would could work though, for a cryptocurrency it might make sense to avoid centralization and a single point of failure.
I haven't looked into OB and how it works over there, this is just my mental model of how smart contract might work in commerce. A transaction needs the Ok from two parties for it to happen.
It's a good thing for all of us that Phil Zimmermann didn't feel that way.
The general public are finally realising more and more how much big companies are misusing, selling, profiting from our data, evading our privacy for their own financial gain . Having a distributed marketplace should also decentralise the data that is collected. I'm not saying that OpenBazaar doesn't expose/collect all data from sellers and buyers, I don't know, but it's a lot closer than a company like eBay that store and sell data (keeping it to themselves).
Even if it is possible to see all of OpenBazaars data, it at least creates a fair playing field where everyone can see all of the data.
Let's also have a look at Amazon. A company who lets retailers sell on their platform, only to undercut popular sellers when they discover a new gap in the market . At the same time gladly taking a cut of your sales . Having a decentralised marketplace that is free to use, doesn't compete with its sellers and creates an even playing field by sharing all data with all users equally has to be a benefit to society?
I think it's worth talking about the fact that the discussion too often degrades to "good people don't have anything to hide" or similar arguments. Such an attitude demonstrates incomprehension of just how much power these little pieces of data surrender to the upper tier of our stratified society. Examples of that would be banal, especially today.
Are you kidding? The will make ISP blacklist yuor IP ranges faster than you can spell decentralized. This is the fundamental issue with any "decentralized" service that it runs on a system that is controlled by governments and corporations. You can fool yourself into believing that this works but in practice they can stop you so many ways that it is not worth the effort even trying. Step 0 for any decentralized service is to create a point to point network that is fully operated by end users and there is no dependency on anything that is controlled by a government or a ISP/corporation. Good luck!
- after I installed IPFS where does it connect first?
- if both computers in a theoretical IPFS cluster are behind NAT how do you make them connect to each other without a 3rd publicly available node?
Thanks in advance.
I wonder about the business side though. Vendors need many buyers and vice versa, yet download and installation presents significant friction.
For OB, what might become a kernel of serious market activity as collectibles apparently was for eBay in their early days? I believe you are targeting Crypto trading, right?
I presume that it works similar to the BitTorrent network where there are nodes and supernodes? I also assume that if someone creates a listing, it gets distributed automatically to many different nodes on the network.
So if that's the case, and an illegal sex trafficking listing gets created, how do you ensure that innocent nodes or supernodes on the network don't become liable for the criminal listings that may inevitably popup?
We do operate a few nodes that accept content updates from user nodes but we can manage what is and isn't hosted there. They're not really "super" nodes because anybody can host them and have nodes push data to them.
So, the legal liability of each store rests with the store.
How do you feel about that?
People using the tech for immoral transactions does bother me, but we've seen very little of it, and ultimately I strongly believe the benefits of free trade significantly outweigh the few people who abuse it.
You really, really should not have said that. It will probably come back to bite you. Even if it doesn't, why even take the risk in making a statement like that in today's climate?
I've gone beyond the point where any given act of self-censorship is more beneficial than speaking the truth of the situation.
My position: over the next few generations, adoption of decentralized technology will result in an enormously more peaceful and prosperous humanity then the centrally-controlled alternative. If we take the path of reliance on systems that are controlled by a few powerful organizations then we are at their mercy. The alternatives must exist for those who want to opt out.
I can obviously be accused of naivety, but if I'm open about my motives and my expectations it seems less likely to be accused of malicious intent.
Good luck, you’re really going to need it!
Hey now. Let's not shame people for speaking truth to power. This is a great forum for it.
Having only a handful of companies in the world exerting enormous control over online commerce is dangerous. The amount of data they control is staggering, especially when combined with data collected from other centralized platforms (social media, the banking system, government surveillance).
I don't like needing to ask permission to use those platforms in order to engage in something as fundamental as commerce. Alternatives need to exist, and OpenBazaar is the alternative to the tightly monitored and controlled online marketplaces.
The world needs a protocol and network for trade that no one company or government controls. That's OpenBazaar.
These corporations are so huge, because you buy stuff from them. That is the only reason. You bought and still buy stuff from them, because you preferred convenience and cheap stuff to integrity. Now they've grown so huge there is no way to control them. We will pay the price now, thanks.
We don't need another child-porn and weapons distribution channel.
The question is: can a distributed system match the value Amazon's service provides to the consumer?
Just because Amazon sucks, does not mean we need to retreat into full-on anarchy over this. Craigslist is also a marketplace and it isn't the behemoth Amazon is.
Also, Amazon provides a lot more than just a market-place. Everything from "inventory tracking to tax collection to credit card processing". These are no trivial features.
You could have started a regular, centralised, open market-place - by the community, for the community type of deal - and get the same benefits. Of course, selling "medicine" would be difficult.. but we all know that is not what this is about, right?
What about a network that people could control, but not governments or corporations? That's a technical challenge if I ever saw one.
That's true in the same sense that no one controls the internet.
People can control their own portion of the network, they can ban peers and report listings to search engine providers. They can create a custom client that will only see certain types of listings.
Distributed networks aren't a new phenomenon, no one controls them either. If someone could control them they they wouldn't be distributed anymore.
There are ideas for governance systems (voting or other mechanisms), but if the network is permissionless then there's really no way to have an effective governance system (that I'm aware of).
Also we monitor the network and the overwhelming majority is legal trade. If that changed at some point then it might be a different question.
That manner of legislative and regulatory flout is a heat-seeking company missile, and can only end with your eventual incarceration.
Abort thread. Talk to lawyer about further HN commentary. Your discussion here is plainly legally actionable by any investors concerned about your fiduciary responsibilities, and this page will almost certainly be printed out as an exhibit in several legal proceedings, some potentially criminal. I appreciate and respect the change you’re trying to drive, where you’re coming from, and your optimism, but you really, really need to understand the peril you’re in, as unfortunate as it is.
I’m dead serious. DPR got life without parole. They’re not messing around.
Repeat after me: I have no knowledge of illegal activity taking place on the platform, and condemn it.
FWIW and don't take it personally, but i do hope you are wrong and overreacting.
In fact, they are still thrown away from society. Just in a slower manner. That's some progress anyway.
See: literal millions of people marching in S Korean streets in recent years because their gov was corrupt.
Has anyone ever been prosecuted for making software, or using it, that was used by another in the commission of a crime? Perhaps there is existing law related to people who write and release software that was intended only for malicious use that could extended.
In the crypto/ICO space, the people getting into hot water have charges related to violation of finance and securities law.
Are you serious?
Yeah, he’s going to prison, but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about the potential value of his platform, and it doesn’t mean his motives aren’t good. It probably does mean that idealism is a shitty defense in court though.
No he's not.
As I said in another comment, as far as I know, as long as they don't host any nodes with illegal content, they shouldn't get in trouble just for publishing the protocol, the client protocol and p2p servers code. Otherwise, the inventors of tcp/ip, http, bittorrent, telnet and more would be in prison. And no, just saying "I'm ok with people using it for evil" is not a reason to go to jail, 1st amendment comes into play here. Now, if they start relaying nodes with CP on it, even by accident, that's a difference story of course. My guess is that their software comes with only their safe node on it and people will use search engines to get nodes addresses with CP on them. If anything, this will give more work and trouble to Google, not OpenBazaar.
And like Tor, it's primarily a framework.
If I were doing it, I'd rather be anonymous. But then, I'm just very cautious.
If you're "anonymous" they could just charge you not just for your words in public, but for awful reasons and nobody will stand for you since you're just overall ciminal.
I'm going with the "be famous or be afraid" school of thought of your parent comment.
They did. The piratebay default search engine allowed people to find illegal content. That's why they got in trouble. If Google Chrome default search engine had CP and drugs on it, they'd get into trouble too. Anyone can use chrome to find CP but Google is ok because they don't enable it by default. As long as OpenBazaar default search engine does not contain anything illegal and forces people to use a different search engine to find illegal stuff, they will not get into trouble.
I don't think you're able or willing to delist content right?
I mean, this is damning: Illegality and immorality are different, and - speaking personally - I don't have an issue with the platform used for moral but illegal uses.
It does not just matter that something CAN be used for evil, it matters how likely it WILL be used for evil.
The nice thing about decentralization is that it forces government to be more surgical in their enforcement. State actors have all the tools necessary to identify and target individual bad actors. You have to be a real champion not to leak data or make a mistake over time. Bitcoin, for example, is much harder to hide than cash. In centralized systems it's just easier to be lazy and implement mass surveillance and absolute control - which a lot of people in the community disagree with.
Terrorism for example barely exists, and barely ever existed, but massive apparatuses that infringe on the liberties of billions of people have been implemented in the name of it.
Child porn, chemical/radioactive weapons trading, and assassination requests are the big 3 often cited - but really these too barely exist, and nations have more than enough resources to counter them with precision.
Where can I read about the Objectivist FBI phase?
Strictly speaking, that is marketing hyperbole on their part as the world already has a lot of protocols and networks for trade that no one company or government controls, otherwise stuff like international mail would have problems.
Our company (OB1) runs one service, and we do censor those listings and allow people to report illegal or offensive listings. However there are other search engines that choose to censor lightly or not at all, and everyone is free to use whichever search providers (or a combination) that they want.
In the case of BitTorrent, you are only serving up what you have specifically downloaded.
So how do you federate the market listings without turning unwitting users into felons?
So yes, users have complete control over what content they are serving.
If you visit someone's page and then.. oops its inappropriate.. I have to take quick action now before I get sued (and its easy to make mistakes and overlook something)
I'd rather have an explicit opt-in button 'Rehost' (or something) than having to opt-out by clearing the cache.
Or is this easily configurable already?
So just as with IPFS, there can be OpenBazaar branches in Tor onion space. But those nodes are only accessible for users in Tor-mode, right? Or are there gateways?
It's a tangential question- What kind of real-world problems do you envisage being solved by blockchain first? ( Ethereum/ Ipfs/)
Also, from an proficient and experienced Software Engineer(with backend /infra side of things), what kind of blockchain-based projects would you find impressive to showcase one's skillset?
But we obviously hope that OpenBazaar becomes widely adopted and we then have a large group of people to sell (optional!) services to.
We (the company I co-founded, OB1) already have a search engine for the network and a verified moderators service that helps people know who to trust on the network. As the network grows there will be other services to offer.
Both parties agree to use a third party, called a moderator, who will settle the dispute if either party is dissatisfied.
The cryptocurrency isn't sent directly to the seller, but it goes into a 2-of-3 multisig account. That requires any two of the parties to release the funds.
Most of the time the buyer and seller are happy and release the funds when the transaction is completed, but if either party is unhappy then they open a dispute and the moderator gets involved. He / she then joins with the winning party to move the funds.
Moderators are very important in the system and it's important that people choose trustworthy ones, so my company OB1 offers a service where we vet moderators so people know who to choose.
We're in process of changing the website over so it wasn't a great time for a big hug. But the website is mostly a marketing tool and a place to download the installer packages. Which you can find here as well:
Tim Berners-Lee: Is this the decentralized web he envisioned and was recently complaining that it gets increasingly lost?
Lawrence Lessig: About the legal implications in respect to his book Code is Law.
I would recommend to Sam that he reads American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silkroad  and figures out how far he is willing to go for his beliefs. When national actors get involved, your life can become miserable, you will be watched, followed, drug cartels could go after your family to build backdoors in, NSA will go after you to build backdoors in, there is no limit to human evil, corruption and avarice. Be careful man.
Mirroring or torrenting the packages is also a good idea:
Uhhhh. Isn't that kind of an opsec fail? I mean, you can always re-register a new profile/store, but still?
If it's not, then no.
There are plenty of businesses that are perfectly happy to let people know their address.
We can't know what the most popular products are because people can engage in trade without the rest of the network knowing about it. If you download the app and look at search results then play around with the filters, you can make some guesses.
The application is available on Github, and that's the part that uses IPFS.
Another awesome one is Fritter (a twitter clone), which can be used with the dat protocol and through the Beaker browser. More details here:
Cool project for sure but seems like a bad tech to build a social network on.
Practically speaking the only thing anyone every _really_ complains about is the inability to edit typos.
Also interesting to mention, because distributed like IPFS, is datproject.org and beakerbrowser.com (built on top, decentralized website hosting and browsing). I believe there are some social network projects using Dat as well.. should be on their awesome list on GH.
SocialHome.network (federated) is also cool
(note: not equivalents to OpenBazaar, though)
I think Diaspora is the closest:
Apologies if user stories are on your site-- I can't access it atm.
I've been running the swag store and we've sold hundreds of tshirts, pins, stickers, etc. But I always get excited when a merchant reaches out and tells us about the sales they've gotten.
No question that it doesn't even have a small fraction of the users of major platforms, we've got a long way to go. But there have been about 42,000 unique nodes on the network since Nov 2017, and I'm pretty happy with that number. It's a fairly radical proposal to have people run their own store on their own computer, but there are at least that many people in the world willing to do it.
Just wait until the mobile app and the browser client are finished!
If Alice and Bob were to trade drugs on my website, and I take fees for that commerce, you can bet that law enforcement is knocking on my door very soon.
Craigslist took down their personals and they don't make any money off of it.
Edit: Additionally, the aim is to be an open protocol for trade and not just a product. Fees for using an open protocol don't make much sense.
There are some illegal drugs on the network. Thus far I haven't seen any evidence of the other stuff you've claimed.
Perhaps it's human nature that people will eventually abuse the technology in that way, but it doesn't mean the technology isn't valuable, and it doesn't mean that the benefits don't outweigh the costs.
This is obviously an age-old debate about new technology, but if we had the mindset that any technology that can be used for evil shouldn't be allowed to exist then we wouldn't have TCP/IP and HTTP and SMS and SMTP, etc.
But if you can't be bothered then there is a search engine as well:
Have you bought or sold anything online in the last week? Those things could probably be done on OpenBazaar.
> Have you bought or sold anything online in the last week? Those things could probably be done on OpenBazaar.
But will they? I don't think that's a fair summary of the criticism. There are already much more convenient alternatives for legally selling goods and services, using currency that's actually effectively currency, without using some command line tool to run a node. I think there are going to be three types of users: 1) people that are using it out mostly out of interest of the technology, 2) people to whom the platform is ideologically interesting i.e. anti-government types, libertarians, anti-corporate types etc., and 3) users that actually benefit from the anonymity and lack of censorship by selling illegal goods or completely avoiding taxes.
I wouldn't be surprised if the last category eventually grows much bigger than the former two. I only hope that it will be mostly illegal goods that don't harm really anyone, like cheap counterfeit consumer crap.
"Who would buy anything on eBay when there are already more convenient alternatives?" ?
I buy almost everything on eBay because of the convenience of having the same search system and user interface for every type of thing I want to buy. I'd love to get a similar user experience without having to trust eBay as the arbiter of every single transaction. For example you can't buy knvives on eBay, so when I want to buy a knife I have to go somewhere else. I bought a number plate for my car on eBay recently (old one was cracked), and it all went fine, but when I went to buy another I found the seller's account had been shut down by eBay, for unspecified reasons. On OpenBazaar that wouldn't be able to happen.
Not really. I don't know of any much more convenient ways to facilitate auctions that predates eBay. I'm too young, really, to say out of experience how things were before eBay, but personally I went directly from browsing second hand stores and newspaper classifieds to use the local eBay clone which afforded it the additional convenience of only listing local items, but that was eventually bought by eBay as well.
For the general consumer I don't think that trust in eBay or having to go someplace else to buy knives and license plates is enough of an inconvenience to outweigh the inconvenience of trusting your bitcoins to have roughly the same value the day after tomorrow, or having to run a daemon to access listings.
I don't think you're wrong or that you have misplaced your priorities somehow, but I think you'd belong in category 1 and/or 2, and for as long as those aren't representative of the broad public I think services like OpenBazaar will mostly be attractive to those operating in the legal grays and blacks, simply thinking in terms of who's got most to gain from anonymity, lack of governance and untraceable transactions despite their inconveniences.
But let's say it attracts some 10000 (+/- an order of magnitude) privacy-minded cryptoanarchists that are all there because they don't trust sites like eBay or can't find some categories of legitimate items there because of some of eBay's rules. The sheer breadth of items, buyers and sellers afforded by a much more generally convenient site like eBay or CL won't be available to them, and I think that's going to turn a lot of people off that aren't explicitly looking to buy items that are much harder to get elsewhere. Maybe they'll find their knives and license plates but it'll be switchblades and counterfeits respectively.
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Does OpenBazaar do this? Probably not.
Are all these people anonymous on IPFS?
Probably somewhat because they're behind VPNs or proxies, at least that's what I hope they do if they're offering things like above.
Will this stop law enforcement?
No, it will not: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/08/vpn_logs_helped_unm...
You should also be informed that DMCA is not relevant to over half of your links. Its target is copyright circumvention, not narcotics sales etc.
The individuals allegedly selling those possibly illegal things could receive legal actions like DMCA and narcotics laws, and even you might for linking to them. But I was not talking about those individuals, only the irony that you are at greater legal risk than the OpenBazaar developers.
History disproves your disingenuous comments.
The most important issue is that OpenBazaar is software and the other was a service based around a website.
Why do you comment so confidently and enthusiastically, when you apparently understand so little?