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News Link • Cyberspace and the New Economy

WEB BASED & DECENTRALIZED MARKETPLACES SELLING FOR CRYPTO WITHOUT KYC

• PocketNet

By H8St8 at https://Pocketnet.app, Updated 15 November 19

Opportunities are needed to sell products and services for crypto without any state involvement or personal information requirements. The following few markets were found outside the darknet which accept widely used cryptocurrencies, beyond BTC (Bitcoin), without KYC (know your customer) requirements.

The most highly recommended markets are at the top, beginning with the best, which is also decentralized.

DECENTRALIZED MARKETPLACES

Only one, and its mobile companion, achieved the minimum requirements above.

OpenBazaar is a free, decentralized, open source program by the US corporation OB1. Having a company behind it provides a control point which makes it less than fully decentralized. It was built to provide everyone with the ability to buy and sell directly with each other freely. The desktop app can be downloaded from https://openbazaar.com .

A web interface is being developed at OpenBazaar.com. At the time of this article, it allows product searches, but not buying and selling.

Crypto accepted:

BTC, BCH (Bitcoin Cash), LTC (Litecoin) or ZEC (Zcash). There is a sliding floor for the minimum size of BTC payment that may be handled through escrow. You may also choose which cryptocurrencies you'll accept for each individual product, avoiding BTC for low cost items.


Fees and escrow:

Crypto payments may be direct from the buyer to seller, or through escrow with a choice of moderators in case of a dispute. The only fees are for crypto mining (transaction processing) and moderation, if needed. When the crypto passes through escrow, there is a mining fee as the funds enter escrow from the buyer (paid by the buyer) and then again as they leave to the seller (paid by the seller). There may also be a previously agreed dispute fee of 1-5% or more, if necessary to engage the moderator for escrow to clear or resolve a dispute.

Personal information:

There is no identification required, not even an email address.

Privacy:

Information provided to OpenBazaar is collected and could be shared, if demanded by the state from the company behind it. For sellers this could only be a crypto wallet receiving payment from escrow, or not even that, if payment is direct from the buyer. Buyers provide a shipping address (which is not confirmed and could be communicated differently in a side message) plus any wallet address from payment to escrow. With a direct payment and address via messaging and anonymous email, OpenBazaar could have no useful information to demand about a transaction.

Seller experience:|

The store setup is very capable with variations to allow selection of options and quantities with different prices withing a single listing. Coupon codes may be setup for each individual item, but not for the entire store.

The OpenBazaar product/store default search program, OB1, requires the user to "seed" their store in the network for search visibility. This is easy to do. Go to Settings/Advanced/Server/Show Connected Peers. Then follow some of the peer stores that appear in the listings. This seeds your store into the network so the search can find and index your products. Haven searches will then also display the same search results with OB1. Mid November 2019, there are over 23,000 listings found globally by OB1. To appear in searches, it's not necessary to keep the app running and remain in the nodal network. However doing so makes the network stronger and provides quicker notification of sales.

The store or product address can be provided for potential buyers to go to your store, regardless of any filtering. They look like: ob://aLongListOfNumbersAndLetters/store .

Buyer experience:

The OB1 search supposedly has illegal product filtering which may cause products to not appear in the results. There is no clear explanation of the filter rules. There are two alternative beta search programs available from https://searchbizarre.com/about and https://bazaar.blockstamp.market/ which are having some issues displaying the search results at the time of this writing. Another "search" option is to select Settings/Advanced/Show Connected Peers which will display only the stores with servers currently online, which is only a very small fraction of the stores and offerings.

After installing the program, you can select an OpenBazaar ob:// address hyperlink in a browser or document, then it will open in the program. Also, these addresses can be pasted in the address bar for access.

Other:

The only significant hurdle for buyers and sellers using the OpenBazaar desktop app is establishing a server for network access. The easiest way to do this is in conjunction with a session of TOR (The Onion Router) to act as a server. There are easy to follow instructions at https://github.com/OpenBazaar/openbazaar-desktop/wiki/Tor-Setup . It's not that difficult and after its done, starting new sessions is easy. Using the Haven mobile app described below avoids this hurdle. The web interface under development at OpenBazaar.com will also avoid the need to setup a server.

Summary:

Overall, OpenBazaar.org has a better combination of features than all of the purely website based markets to sell physical goods for crypto with no KYC. Filtering of illegal products by the OB1 default search program could be an inconvenience. Setting up a TOR server as part of the initial installation may be an excessive hurdle for some sellers and buyers alike, until the web interface at OpenBazaar.com is fully functional. Because it isn't completely decentralized (having a company behind it) and any personal information may collected, there could be a privacy risk, if care isn't taken.

Haven – Private Shopping mobile app on Android and Apple iOS is the mobile version of OpenBazaar's decentralized market. The app can be downloaded from https://gethaven.app and a non-Google download for the Android app is at https://apkpure.com/haven-private-shopping/io.ob1.nativeandroid .

Below are the differences from OpenBazaar:

The most positive difference is not needing to setup a server as part of installing the mobile app.

OpenBazaar coupon codes for discounts are not recognized.

Haven has the same filtering as OpenBazaar's OB1, but without any alternative search programs.

To access a store that doesn't appear in a word search, you can paste the entire OpenBazaar ob://.../store address in the search field or you can select an ob:// address hyperlink in a browser.

WEBSITE BASED MARKETS

Only four achieved the minimum requirements of accepting widely used cryptocurrencies, beyond BTC, without KYC

WeShopWithCrypto.com is brand new and easily the best of the website based options for sellers.

Crypto accepted:

Buyers can pay with many cryptos listed at https://weshopwithcrypto.com/about-us/ .


Fees and escrow:

The only fees for buyers are the crypto transaction fee into escrow. Sellers pay a 2% fee which also covers the crypto transaction from escrow. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees. All buyer payments all go through escrow. Sellers will only be able to withdraw their earnings after 14 days upon marking their order as 'complete'. During this time, buyers and sellers will be able to file a complaint and request refunds. WSWC acts as the moderator for disputes over orders.

Personal information:

Buyers and sellers must have a user account which includes providing a name, shipping address and phone number, plus an email that is confirmed during account setup. Additionally, sellers provide a wallet address for BTC or ETH to receive payments from escrow (other cryptos received in escrow are converted). This market gathers IP address information about buyers and sellers, which can be obscured with a VPN. The store also uses Google Analytics which will process and record data such as your IP, country, page views, navigation habits, and time spent on viewing pages. TOR browser not in full screen can defeat Google.

Privacy:

They say payments are confirmed and validated via the blockchain and no buyer wallet information is processed or stored on their servers. Wallet addresses are supposedly not associated with personal information, which could actually be as little as an email address for sellers. WSWC is based in Estonia, a top country for internet freedom and privacy. International shipments may require disclosure of contact and purchase information to customs authorities.

Seller experience:

The store setup is very capable. Discount codes are also supported. Variations allow selection of options and quantities with different prices within a single listing. However, the variation setup is not intuitive, doesn't match the instructions and a bit frustrating at first. Secret tip: To add each new variation, you must select the + at the lower right of the last variation to "Add New Block".

In the term of service there is a long list of items, or anything similar, which cannot be sold. Violation will result in closure of the seller's account. This probably the biggest downside of this marketplace for some sellers.

Buyer experience:

There is an excellent search feature and categorical product finding for buyers. Products appear in the search very quickly.

Summary:

WeShopWithCrypto.com is by far the most capable of the four website based markets for sellers and buyers. A little more information is gathered than some of the others, but only the email and wallet addresses are verified. Being based in Estonia provides a high level of privacy, except for international shipments. Learning how to create variation listings with outdated instructions is the biggest seller downside initially. Then dodging the terms of service restrictions could be a problem for some sellers.

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