Seablue Journal: At the crypto coal face with Openbazaar.
I've been at the coal face of cryptocurrency. Using the interfaces, visiting the exchanges, reading the websites, actually transacting in the tokens. Many cryptos say a lot of things about their qualities and try to present a glossy exterior. The real proof is always in the actual use of the token. I've been digging deep to discover what the reality is. An interesting exploration has been using openbazaar.
"Openbazaar is an open source project developing a protocol for e-commerce transactions in a fully decentralized marketplace. It uses cryptocurrencies as medium of exchange..." -openbazaar.org
I'd heard about openbazaar before. I'd actually tried using it over a year ago, but it was not particularly useful for me at the time. Fast forward to this week and I'm watching a video by Chris Coney (@marketingmonk) on his Cryptoverse channel, where he is talking about the move towards KYC at Shapeshift.io. This move by Shapeshift has met with some criticism from the crypto community. Many used Shapeshift.io to obfuscate their transaction history. The crypto-anarchist, whose blood boils at the thought of governments eyes peering into their private lives, is not so happy with this change.
Chris Coney made the suggestion of another way of transforming one form of crypto into another. Openbazaar was his suggestion! Well, that was out of left field. I had not seen that one coming. I was expecting him to recommend a decentralized exchange. It intrigued me and the next day I was installing and running my openbazaar server.
I soon discovered on openbazaar a crypto shop that was dealing in converting Bitcoin Cash to a number of different currencies. They traded at anywhere from 1-3% over the market price. I think that is okay. You get worse on localbitcoins trades.
The reason I went looking for a Bitcoin Cash solution was the internal wallet for openbazaar had three options when you initially set up, and they are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or ZCash. I might have tried ZCash but for the word 'beta' next to the wallet. Being a beta tester without first finding out what openbazaar was all about didn't appeal. Bitcoin transactions are just too pricey to even consider Bitcoin for trading peer to peer. So I'm left with Bitcoin Cash. That is not a problem for me at all though. I've grown used to using Bitcoin Cash ever since Bitcoin transactions fees became ridiculously high. It costs me around a penny to send a BCH transaction. That is awesome.
So with my Bitcoin Cash deposited in my openbazaar wallet, I was ready to make some trades! Looking through the list of things to buy I really liked the look of EOS. For one I knew it has zero transactions fees. Secondly, I'm accumulating EOS like a man possessed at the current prices. I'm also using EOS as the base unit on decentralized exchanges within the EOS platform. There where a lot of good reasons to start buying EOS.
I soon discovered that EOS was not something this particular shop had a lot of experience with. They were a little mystified at my account name, which I won't reveal here, but is one that I created for myself while playing with EOS functionality. It was ridiculous enough of an account name, that I'm probably not surprised at the confusion. They asked me for a memo, concerned that my transaction would be lost, so I had to coach them on the difference between an exchange account and a personal account of my own making.
I made three trades. The minimum trading amount required was 4 EOS. Between 4 and 9 EOS, their conditions allowed for a moderator to be chosen for dispute resolution. Over 10 EOS and they required direct trades with no moderator. I still don't understand the reasoning behind this, but whatever. I wanted a moderator to have oversight on my first few transactions, so I kept the transaction sizes in the required range. There is a discussion feature when a purchase is being negotiated. It came in pretty handy, as there was definitely some discussion to be had. After schooling them in EOS after some declined trades, we got the whole show running nicely.
I traded in a few other coins. LBC for the LBRY application that I have been playing with lately (another exercise in actually exploring the crypto space). I put in a request for them to trade BAT (Basic Attention Token) and they added it to the shop the next day. The conditions on the BAT token exchange where not particularly exciting though. I made the trade out of gratitude for their quick response, but trading ETH or ERC20 tokens have now become just as ridiculous as trading in Bitcoin. It is just a stupidly expensive exercise. I passed on my thoughts about the experience of trading BAT. I probably won't do that one again.
Discovering just how stupid it is, is part of the experience of being at the crypto coal face. That is why I do it. There is a lot of talk of mass adoption, but are we ready? How likely is that to happen? Will it be soon? Or will it be many years down the track? These are all the questions that are answered by just getting out there and using crypto. And so it was done.....
How was your crypto user experience this week?
Digging into crypto.
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