BitBoost Marketplace: upcoming features

A series of new features will be made available in coming releases. Here’s an overview of what we plan to provide.

With most core functionality for our platform now in place, we’ll be delivering a series of improvements and new features over the coming months. These will ensure that our marketplace can compete with existing e-commerce platforms.

Usability and convenience

All of our updates improve the user’s experience, but there are several that we consider particularly important if we are going to reach beyond the narrow crypto community and break through to mainstream consumers and businesses.

TrueUSD. Most ordinary consumers aren’t comfortable with crypto’s volatility. TrueUSD is a new ‘stablecoin’, hosted on the Ethereum blockchain. Like Tether (USDT), TUSD tokens are 1:1 backed by real dollars, but the approach taken is very different. Tether is centralised, and it’s not clear what the company is doing with the tokens or fiat funds it holds. There’s also no easy way for traders to cash USDT out to dollars in their bank accounts. TrueUSD has addressed all these problems. As well as putting in place a clear legal process and regular audits, it’s a big plus that the TrueUSD company itself doesn’t have access to users’ funds. You can read more about why we chose TrueUSD here.

Web interface and mobile version. Outside of crypto, most people are more comfortable with a website-based account and sign-in process. They generally don’t want to download a separate piece of software to run locally. By providing a similar user experience to other major e-commerce platforms – even if there is something very different going on behind the scenes – we know we’ll reach more buyers and sellers faster and more easily. Ultimately, we’ll also be looking to provide a mobile version so that customers can use our platform on the go, wherever they are.

Localisation. We’re aiming to support over 20 languages, covering a userbase that stretches across most of the world.

Arbitration. A peer-to-peer e-commerce platform needs a different way of approaching disputes than the one used by companies like eBay and Amazon. BitBoost Marketplace will use a decentralised process that involves verified arbiters. It is supported by smart contracts, and arbiters are themselves subject to checks and balances. You can find out more about the arbitration process here.

Shipping. We’re going to be including several popular shipping options for sellers’ convenience, and so that buyers will also have greater choice in the locations from which they can buy items.

Merchant tools

Getting merchants on board is key to driving adoption, and a number of our updates will offer particular advantages to sellers.

Metrics. We will create a KPI dashboard to give sellers lots of useful information about their businesses’ performance.

Ability to print return mailing labels. This automates a simple but important task for sellers.

Receipt automation. This will facilitate sellers’ ability to print packing receipts and/or send digital receipts to buyers – again, a routine but important task.

E-store features. This will enable sellers to create more customised and attractive online storefronts.

We also have several updates that will improve the listings process:

IPFS. As we explained in a previous post, we will be using the Inter-Planetary File System (IPFS) to store information about item listings. Our early tests on mainnet showed that it would be too costly and too unpredictable to use Ethereum’s blockchain for this. Having reviewed our options, we believe the distributed file storage offered by IPFS is the perfect compromise between reducing costs for sellers and keeping our infrastructure as decentralised as possible. Ethereum will continue to be used for all financial operations.

Listing options. The list of item categories will be extended and improved so that sellers can describe their products more accurately.

Caching for unfinished item listings. This will enable sellers to start back where they left off if they do not complete the listing process for an item.

Image interface. We will create new image cropping facilities, potentially with a new and streamlined upload interface.

Filters. Users will optionally be able to apply filters to prevent certain items from being displayed in their search results. BitBoost will create at least one standard filter, which will cover items that are illegal in many jurisdictions or are adult in nature. However, we plan for filters to be versatile tools that can be used in a wide variety of ways.

Custom filters. Users will be able to create their own customised filters to avoid items they consider objectionable. Additionally, highly specific custom filters can be created and made available to everyone, enabling users to find individual items or stores and tailoring offerings to sellers’ and buyers’ preferences. All filters are free.

Filter selection interface. This will make it easy to search for filters and select them. The Preferences page in your account will show which filter you have chosen.

Miscellaneous

Other planned features include:

Review list ordering. It will be possible to order reviews by date, with either oldest or newest shown first.

Naming system. Accounts on BitBoost Marketplace are simply Ethereum addresses. These are long strings of random characters, which can be hard to recognise. The Naming system makes it possible to link addresses to names, in two different ways. Each user can choose a Sig for their own account (e.g. ‘SmithsElectronics’), which other users can search for on the marketplace. This will be an important way that sellers advertise their stores and are found by customers.

Nametags allow you to describe an account with a nickname that only you can see. This is like an entry in your personal address book, e.g. ‘coffeeguy’, ‘gardenstuff’, etc. Other users can’t search for these – they are just for your own use.

Bug reporting system. We will be integrating the ability for users to report problems directly from BitBoost Marketplace.

Affiliate widget. Just like most other mainstream e-commerce platforms, we will allow users to benefit from driving traffic to sellers – enabling the development of an affiliates ecosystem around the marketplace.

Complete look and feel overhaul. A comprehensive UX update will of course be needed to integrate all the new features we have planned into the interface.

That’s all for now! If you have suggestions for new features, please drop us a line and let us know your thoughts.