The Block is built on the Ethereum blockchain using smart contracts. This means that it is decentralized, living on thousands of computers world-wide. As a result, The Block is resistant to the kinds of attacks that force conventional websites offline. Also, there is no need for a seller to keep their computer online 24/7, since there are always multiple copies running. The blockchain keeps every item available at all times, to everyone.
BitBoost allows items to be made available for sale for the extraordinarily low cost of 1 USD per listing. The Block doesn’t charge a fee to purchase items. The Block takes no percentage from your final sale price.
Trading over an anonymous, decentralized system poses a challenge - how do you know you can trust other users? The Block will offer an escrow service guaranteed by BitBoost. The buyer will send a payment to the escrow system. The payment will be released to the seller only when goods have arrived in the condition described by the listing. BitBoost's open source escrow system is open to all providers, so sellers can designate any provider they wish to serve as their escrow agent. Disagreements are handled through arbitration by the escrow provider.
Every seller or buyer will have a rating derived from his/her reputation during and after every transaction, so as to protect all users from scams. This system will allow buyers to reward fair traders and exclude fraudulent users.
The Block is available as a native app on all major desktop platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux. The app includes support for themes and even comes with two themes built in. Users can bookmark searches, sellers, and items, for later use. Privacy level settings let users chose the arrangement that works best for them; for instance, users can chose between using their own copy of the Ethereum blockchain, or a remote copy maintained by the BitBoost developers. Users can be known to other users by their Ethereum address, or they may choose an alias.
The Block has a built-in wallet that stores Ether, the native currency of Ethereum. Purchases are made directly from this wallet, and sales revenue goes directly to this wallet. Users can buy Ether from within The Block using BTC.
To make The Block as inviting as possible to all users, we included a built-in filter that removes the sellers of certain questionable goods from your view. This filter is turned on by default, but can be turned off by the user. This filter is maintained by the developers, but users can also use third-party filters that cater to their particular needs. Users can, for instance, subscribe to a filter that removes items which are not permitted in their own jurisdiction, but which are permitted elsewhere. This helps the user to be compliant with their local laws, while still using a global app.
The limits vary over time. If you use the “Advanced” option, you can set the number of items to buy at maximum. In the Simple option, you can buy 1, 5, 10, 20, or 50 at a time. Max tends to be around 190. Every time you make a request to ShapeShift, they give you a new address to which you send your BTC, and the 10 minute countdown starts. The ETH gets sent to the user’s Wallet directly. Every request is separate.
The Block runs on the Ethereum blockchain, making it inherently resistant to censorship attempts. No central authority controls the blockchain, and transactions can be completed in a trustless manner, with no third party involvement.
Built on Ethereum’s smart contracts, every transaction on The Block will be copied on Ethereum blockchain using a trustless system. No one has to rely on trust for the system to work. Smart contracts keep the process safe.
Your item is always online, even if your client is offline. There is no single point of failure in this system.
The Block works in many languages. At launch, the app will support 20 languages, with more to come. The BitBoost teams wants to lower barriers to trade. Making the app work in as many languages as possible is part of this effort.
Although all transactions are on the blockchain, not everything is public. Messages between buyer and seller are encrypted, and personal information (such as shipping address) is also encrypted by default.
The Block was designed for ease of use. Item listings can include a description, images, shipping options, and tags for easy searching. Our interface is simple, uncluttered, and ad-free.