Last updated on June 25th, 2018,

Our approach to open source

At BitBoost we have been working hard to launch a great e-commerce marketplace over the Ethereum network. We have been talking about its main features, and also about how our customer will benefit from them. Now, we would like to announce that we are going open source, and how it will look.

Our marketplace has three “moving parts” in it:

  • The user interface.
  • The protocol with the smart contracts, running all the business operations.
  • And a caching system we call e-cache that controls the access to the protocol, records transactions to the blockchain, and manages tokens for that purpose.  The connection between the client (the app) and the protocol is done through an API, which allows the client to talk with the protocol.

Basically, we are opening up the code of the user interface, and we are also creating complete documentation for the API. The e-cache system will remain private, and this is because it’s where the listing payments, using our token, will happen. Hence, we need that to build a sustainable business!

What does open source mean for our project? We are building the foundational stones for an ecosystem, where people will be able to:

  • Build their own marketplace using our code, connecting it to the smart contracts through the API.
  • Connect their own e-commerce shops to our marketplace, getting the benefits of our smart contracts through a simple API.
  • Build e-commerce plugins and solutions for the most popular software solutions, such as Woocommerce and Magento, easily connecting them to the blockchain using our API.

Running an open source project is something that will be really helpful to grow our community. But besides that, we are also testing and hopefully growing a new brand business solution: a decentralized marketplace.

What does a decentralized marketplace mean? To understand it, we should first identify the core feature of a marketplace. And it’s not code. It’s the network effect. Marketplaces are great and work wonderfully because they have a network effect: the more people who use it, the more value it provides to all the participants.

Until now, the network effect has been built in a silo. Amazon has its own network effect, as well as eBay, Etsy, and many others. You can only participate in this network effect if you join the specific silo where it is built. With our open source ecosystem, we can break down the silo, because the network effect is built not on the platform level, but in the protocol layer.

Let’s explain the process. If you want to join the network of people doing e-commerce with us, you can either join our platform (the BitBoost Marketplace) or create your own shop, connecting it to the blockchain using our API. In either case, your inventory will be always available. It will be sold through your platform, through our marketplace (which will be a window to all the items listed in the protocol), or even through other e-commerce shops connected to the marketplace that decide to show your inventory. So simple. Everything is in the protocol, so everybody listing anything on it will contribute to the network effect, without even using our platform.

That’s our approach to building a decentralized marketplace. It will no longer require the use of a single platform; instead, a myriad of e-commerce sites will connect to the protocol in a decentralized way, with nobody controlling the process. This is a new concept that we want to explore and grow.

In the next few weeks, we will start publishing and promoting the API, the open source code, and a few more ideas and projects to build more apps over the protocol. And we are also organizing a hackathon to invite developers and business people to think, figure out, and code new solutions using our code and API. Join us, and let’s build the future of decentralized marketplaces!