The Block is an app developed by BitBoost. It is a global, encrypted, online marketplace where you can buy and sell with privacy. An introductory video is available on our Home page located here.
The Block is an application that you install on your computer. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is built on the smart contract blockchain Ethereum, and is therefore completely decentralized.
To use The Block, just download and install the application, and then create a Wallet. You can load your Wallet from within the application.
The listing fee for an item is only 1 USD, paid in BitBoost tokens. The BitBoost token fee will be adjusted frequently to stay as close to 1 USD as possible. The price of a BitBoost token will depend on the market. Unlike other popular markets, The Block takes no percentage from your final sale price.
Do you like privacy? The Block doesn’t require you to enter any personal information at all. Do you like low fees? The Block charges very low fees. Tired of being under surveillance all the time? The Block doesn’t collect and sell your information.
It is necessary to log in to unlock your Wallet. Your Wallet is protected by your password, so you may only buy or sell if you logged in first. In other words, you are logging in to access your own Wallet, which stored on your own computer. A tutorial on the Login Function is available on the Tutorial page here.
Not yet, but multiple wallet support is planned.
It is possible to fill or refill your Wallet in two ways. Once you have created your Wallet, you may either send Ether to it directly, or you may buy Ether from within the Wallet, using Bitcoin. A tutorial on Buying Ether is available on the Tutorial page here.
Not at the moment. However, you may buy Ether using Bitcoin from within your Block Wallet. We are investigating how to offer support for other currencies, including Bitcoin and Komodo. A tutorial on Buying Ether is available on the Tutorial page here.
Your password is important. Do not lose or forget your password, or you will be unable to access your Ether. Since The Block is completely private, the developers will never have access to your information or passwords. They cannot help you if you lose your password, so be careful.
We want The Block to be available in as many languages as possible. If you are able to translate into your native language from English, please contact us.
Filter is a way for you to control which items you see in The Block. There is no censorship in The Block, but some items are filtered from view by default through blacklisting. Filter is turned on by default, but it is possible for you to turn it off if you want to see a completely unfiltered view of all items available in The Block.
Filter controls are in the Preferences section of the application.
While the developers provide a single, default filter, it is possible for you to subscribe to more than one filter. For example, you may wish to subscribe to a filter which only removes items that are illegal in your jurisdiction, or that are inappropriate for children, or that are forbidden by your religion. We hope that providers will make a wide variety of third-party filters available.
You may subscribe to filters in the Preferences section of the application.
First, you purchase the item by clicking the Buy button. Ether will be withdrawn from your wallet and placed in escrow. The seller must approve the purchase and send you the item. Finally, both you and the seller must mark the transaction as completed for the seller to be paid, or either one of you may open a dispute with your selected Arbiter instead.
The Privacy Level setting determines if The Block will use the BitBoost Ethereum nodes, or your own local copy of the Ethereum blockchain. If you choose the High setting, you must have the blockchain installed and running (for instance, with /geth/). This is an advanced setting, and you should know what you are doing before using it. For most users, the default setting of Normal will be the best choice.
If a seller chooses to offer an item for sale with escrow protection, then the seller must select an “Arbiter.” When a buyer purchases an item with escrow protection, then his funds do not go directly to the seller, but instead are locked in escrow. The Arbiter is a third-party who takes control of the escrowed funds in the event that the buyer or the seller opens a dispute. It is the job of the Arbiter to review the dispute and distribute the escrowed funds as he sees fit. If there is no dispute and the buyer and seller both finalize the transaction, then the escrowed funds are released to the seller automatically, with no Arbiter involvement.
Be sure to check the BitBoost forum, to make sure the feature you want is not already planned. You may send feature requests from within the application, using the Feedback feature, by making a new feature request in the forum, or by writing to us directly: [email protected]
BitBoost is based and incorporated in Zug, Switzerland. Our team, however, is global.
The core development team is:
Andrew Lekar, Smart Contract Developer
Paul Mahone, Lead UI Developer
Max Sergeev, Application Architect
A list of known Arbiters will be available at the BitBoost website soon.
To act as an Arbiter, a seller simply has to use your Ethereum address as the “Arbitration Provider” when listing an item. Any disputes will then fall to you for resolution, and you will have control of the escrowed funds. It is up to you to set your fees, but understand that you will be competing with other Arbiters for sellers’ business.
Your item listing lives on the Ethereum blockchain, so you do not need to be online for your item to be found by shoppers and purchased.
No, there is no registration process, and you do not need to disclose any personal information. You only need to create an Ether wallet, which is part of the initial setup process when you run The Block for the first time. Ether wallets are anonymous.
Not yet, but we are working on one. This will be an important aspect of The Block for user confidence.
If you have skills related to Smart Contracts, cryptography, Angular 2, or UI/UX design, we’d like to hear from you.
You may report bugs within the application using the Feedback feature, on the BitBoost forum, or via email: [email protected]
The Block does not require any personal information, nor does it track you in any way. Transactions are written to a public blockchain (Ethereum), but accounts are anonymous. By using best practices, you can keep your account anonymous if you choose.
Yes. Messages between buyer and seller, including address and shipping method, are encrypted.