Bře 08

Amazon Shares Drop 2.6 Percent As Centralization Alienates Suppliers

Amazon suppliers received a lesson in centralization on March 7 after the e-commerce giant abruptly began canceling huge numbers of orders in a profits push. 

Amazon: We ‘Saw Opportunity’

As Bloomberg reported, quoting a statement from Amazon, the company wants to increase returns at the heart of its e-commerce operations. This has involved fundamentally altering the supply line, forcing even long-time sellers to sell products directly on its marketplace instead of using Amazon as a middleman.

This, reports say, results in reduced costs, as suppliers themselves foot the bill for issues such as storage and shipping. Amazon also takes a commission from each transaction.

“We regularly review our selling partner relationships and may make changes when we see an opportunity to provide customers with improved selection, value and convenience,” the statement reads.

The knock-on effect for suppliers, perhaps predictably, has already touched a nerve. As Bloomberg notes, given purchase orders agreed months in advance, seismic changes from Amazon can easily trigger chaos.

“If you’re heavily reliant on Amazon, which a lot of these vendors are, you’re in a lot of trouble. If this goes on, it can put people out of business,” the publication quoted Dan Brownsher, CEO of a consultancy counting around 50 Amazon vendors among its clients, as saying.

At press time, Amazon’s share price was down by close to three percent on the day.


Can Decentralization Tackle Monopolies?

As Amazon has grown to achieve a practically worldwide monopoly, the perils of relying on a giant centralized partner will ring true for those businesses which have adopted an alternative ethos.

Nonetheless, decentralized marketplaces have yet to achieve widespread popularity. Efforts to take on the e-commerce giants have so far seen little progress, with highly-anticipated offerings such as OpenBazaar failing to dent consumer habits.

“You should be able to buy and sell using cryptocurrency… if you get crypto, you should be able to spend it… you and buy whatever you need for your daily activity,” the platform’s founder, Washington Sanchez, told cryptocurrency advocate Tatiana Moroz’s podcast the Tatiana Show in January.

Sanchez is overseeing a diversification of OpenBazaar’s core offering, branching out into related software as part of parent company OB1.io.

What do you think about Amazon’s change of strategy? Let us know in the comments below! 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Kvě 12

Industry Report: Bitcoin Expansion, Ransomware, Dark Web Drudgery

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoin Industry Report

A bitcoin market announces plans for expansion; a long-thought-dead form of ransomware makes another appearance, and it’s Silk Road all over again as Norway shuts down a dark web string. These are only some of the stories you might have missed in this week’s cryptocurrency news, so take a gander at the details below.

Also read: Industry Report: Liberty Leads to Imprisonment, Wright Steps Away


Bitcoin market OpenBazaar has announced future development plans. Among its present goals include the release of a mobile app and Tor support, and fans from around the world are showing their excitement.

The company laid out their mission via blog post:

“Today we’re releasing our high-level roadmap for OpenBazaar – our mission is to make trade free for everyone, everywhere. Our vision is for OpenBazaar to become Commerce 2.0: a permission-less and censorship-resistant protocol for global trade using Bitcoin.”

OpenBazaar’s other long-term plans include sales control center improvements and blockchain ID on-boarding. Things should take roughly 1-2 years to complete, and users are welcome to contribute ideas and comments via the company’s Slack platform.


Bucbi Ransomware is back, and this time, things have gotten “personal.” According to some sources, infections are not random, as the malware is targeting specific corporate networks through what’s known as RDP Brute, a force utility that allows attackers to gain access to company servers without difficulty.

The two-year-old, once dormant ransomware was first noticed by a group of security researchers. They were forced to pay a hefty fee of approximately five bitcoins to release some encrypted files following the malware’s attack on a specific Windows server. Presently, it is unclear who or what parties are behind the attacks.


As NPR host Ari Shapiro states, “Bitcoin gets a lot of attention because drug dealers sometimes use it to buy and sell drugs.” Those of us who love and advocate for bitcoin can’t help but agree to a certain extent. Arguably one of the biggest stories revolving around the digital currency was the saga of Ross Ulbricht and the dark web marketplace Silk Road. Now, it seems to be happening all over again, but this time, it’s in Norway, and the investigation surrounding the dark web has been dubbed “Marco Polo” (if only he was re-discovering America).

Norwegian Police Special Service Agency Kripos has arrested 15 individuals allegedly involved with dark web drug trafficking in an operation going back as far back as 2014. Among the suspects taken into custody are purportedly five of Norway’s biggest drug kingpins. Should further proof of these allegations arise, Kripos is likely to earn itself a gold star or two.

According to Chief Investigator Olav Roisli, bitcoin was the most commonly used currency among those involved. Many attempts were made to prevent tracking despite bitcoin’s lack of anonymity on the blockchain. At press time, the agency only seems to be interested in indicting sellers, although users are being warned not to get too comfortable just yet.

Want to see any particular stories summed up in our industry report series? Let us know below!

Images courtesy of themerkle.com, removeallthreats.com & indicosys.com

The post Industry Report: Bitcoin Expansion, Ransomware, Dark Web Drudgery appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Industry Report: Bitcoin Expansion, Ransomware, Dark Web Drudgery

Kvě 10

OpenBazaar’s ‘Ambitious Destination’

Source: bitcoin


The OpenBazaar team has released its roadmap to the public via a Medium blog post and a picture of the company Trello board. The decentralized marketplace had “received a better than expected response,” and has gained visitors from all across the globe. With this, the company thought it would let the community know the upcoming development plans for the future.

Also read: BitcoinAverage: Craig Wright Can’t Keep Bitcoin Down For Long

“Today we’re releasing our high-level roadmap for OpenBazaar, — Our mission is to make trade free for everyone, everywhere. Our vision is for OpenBazaar to become Commerce 2.0: a permissionless and censorship-resistant protocol for global trade using Bitcoin.”

OpenBazaar’s 1-2 Year Roadmap

The developers of OpenBazaar say the roadmap goals are an “ambitious destination” that will likely take 1-2 years. The team tells the community the project is fully open source and users are invited to join the Slack group to help contribute. Additionally, they write the roadmap is called “high level” and some expansions include “important platforms such as mobile.” The outline detailed in the OpenBazaar blog says there constant ongoing commitments of which some are short term, medium, and long-term goals.  

Some of the long-term achievements the team wants to tackle are improving the moderation system, reputation enhancement, listing flexibility, discovery search, and more privacy. The OpenBazaar developers intend to enable Tor and other privacy-centric features after additional development is added. OpenBazaar states, “Going forward, we will be upgrading the network backend to IPFS, which is discussed in greater detail below. This upgrade will be a significant step forward to eventually integrating Tor.” Short term deployments for the decentralized marketplace include:

  • Email notifications
  • Webhooks
  • Backups
  • Order management
  • Inventory management
  • Order process UI
  • Sales control center improvements
  • Advanced digital goods
  • Blockchain ID on-boarding

Some medium-term goals include “big ticket” items such as an Interplanetary File System (IPFS). The protocol is a hypermedia for building distributed file systems, and would be an extension to the OpenBazaar network architecture. This feature would act like BitTorrent says OpenBazaar and the developers say, “when you visit another user’s store, your node will download and begin seeding that store data to other users.” The new framework will benefit users a great deal with enhanced censorship resistance, persistent content, multi-transport, local connections, and improved DHT implementation.

Additionally, OpenBazaar developers want to add advanced messaging that are encrypted and sent in real-time. The team also wants to add a full featured Bitcoin wallet integrated into the platform. OpenBazaar says the goal is to help new Bitcoin users manage the cryptocurrency on the site. The decentralized marketplace blog states:

“OpenBazaar uses a basic BIP32 wallet to manage multisignature escrow transactions in a user-friendly way. Ultimately, we want to include a full featured wallet in the application. The goal here is to make it easier for users to manage their Bitcoin (especially those that are new to Bitcoin) and incur fewer bitcoin transaction fees when transferring funds out of the app.”

Lastly OpenBazaar says it will be fully compatible with off chain proposals such as the Lightning Network and Segregated Witness. The team also details it will be working on a mobile app noting that, “mobile is eating eCommerce like software is eating the world.” They plan to launch a client-only mobile application and hope that it “empowers users” to manage their node.

The decentralized marketplace has a lot of work to accomplish and many community members are supporting its future stake in the new economy. The company got a lot of honourable mentions at the recent CoinDesk Consensus 2016 event and completing a roadmap like this one will bring the team quite a few more.

What do you think about OpenBazaar’s roadmap? Let us know in the comments below.   

Images via OpenBazaar Websites, and its associated blog


The post OpenBazaar’s ‘Ambitious Destination’ appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

OpenBazaar’s ‘Ambitious Destination’

Dub 20

Duo Search Is A Search Engine For OpenBazaar

Source: bitcoin


Now that the openBazaar project has been launched, various cryptocurrency enthusiasts all over the world have set up their shops. Duo Search is a new search engine to help Bitcoin users find whatever they are looking for among OpenBazaar offerings. This valuable tool will go a very long way in the world of decentralized marketplaces.

Also read: Bitcoin Core 0.12.1 Released, Focus on Block Size Scalability

Duo Search For OpenBazaar

One thing people have to take into account with projects such as OpenBazaar is how it is rather difficult for consumers to find particular items unless they know the exact store details.  Unlike traditional commerce, where people can search for just about anything through a search engine or centralized platform, the world of decentralized marketplaces is something entirely different.

But that search has become a lot easier now that Duo Search has launched, as this platform is a dedicated search engine for OpenBazaar stores. Users can select from different categories on the left-hand side, or just enter a search term and see what comes up.

What makes Duo Search so important is the way users can distinguish between item listings. For example, users might look for physical goods, digital items, or even services. In the case of physical products, the condition will matter, as well as where the item is shipped from. Plus, some sellers offer free shipping, which is another important filter across the OpenBazaar protocol.

Even though there are still the very early days of the OpenBazaar initiative, it is invaluable to have Duo Search available to users already. Rather than wait until this concept comes to full fruition, more people will be enticed to open up their shop knowing that Duo Search will include them in the results.

Last but not least, users can communicate with the Duo Search team directly through a chat option on the website. This will help with providing customer support to novice users, and makes the project more approachable in general. Moreover, this is a valuable service to the OpenBazaar team as well, as it goes to show there are lots of people interested in exploring the boundaries of this project.

Have you bought or sold anything on OpenBazaar yet? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Duo Search

Images courtesy of OpenBazaar, Shutterstock

The post Duo Search Is A Search Engine For OpenBazaar appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Duo Search Is A Search Engine For OpenBazaar

Úno 01

Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Bitcoin Mining Milestone, DCG to go Public?

Source: bitcoin


This week, we saw an overall decline in the bitcoin price, as it fell from $398.78 at the beginning of the week to $373.55 at Sunday’s close. This week’s bearish activity was characterized by relatively flat activity, punctuated by sudden price drops that the market seemed to be unable to fully recover from. Meanwhile, in the news, we learned of new Bitcoin network milestones, regulatory efforts and investments. 

Also read: Gamerholic, the Next ‘Billion Dollar Gaming Company’? A Q&A with Anari Sengbe

Daily Bitcoin Price Action

January 25: $398.78

January 26: $391.04

January 27: $393.75

January 28: $379.37

January 29: $370.39

January 30: $377.75

January 31 Open: $377.74

January 31 Close: $373.55

Total Change: -6.33%

Weekly News Roundup


The week kicked off on January 25, 2016 with the bitcoin price at $398.78, staying within the loose upper $390s trend established last week. The price hit $400 in the early morning hours, but quickly dipped back down into the $390s. By the early afternoon, the price had fallen again into the low $390s, briefly entering $380s territory. Activity slowed down in the afternoon, with the price leveling out in the low $390s, where it stayed for the rest of the day.

In the news, we reported on a milestone in the Bitcoin network. For the first time in the history of the network, the hash rate exceeded 1 Exa Hash per second. The achievement of this milestone means that the bitcoin network has become approximately 300,000 times more powerful than the world’s fastest supercomputer, and over 43,000 times faster than the top 500 supercomputers combined. To drive home the significance of this milestone even further: the bitcoin network at one Exa Hash per second could be capable of running a neural net AI that is approximately 100 times more powerful than the human brain.

Tuesday began at $391.04, about $7 below the opening price on Monday. The $390s range held firmly throughout the entire day. The only divergence from this trend was a brief drop to $386.2 during the 6 PM hour. The price quickly recovered, though, returning to the $390s range to end the day.

Meanwhile, in the news, we reported on a development from Belgium regarding Bitcoin money laundering. According to Belgian newspaper De Morgen, the Belgian government has started working on plans to target money laundering facilitated by Bitcoin.

Wednesday the 27th opened at $393.75, a slight gain over the start of the previous day. For the most part, market activity on the 27th was extremely calm. Between the start of the day and 8 PM, there was hardly any movement in the price, with the candlesticks forming an almost perfectly straight line. However, at 9 PM, the bitcoin price suddenly plunged, falling into the low $380s. During the last hours of the night, the price struggled to remain above the $380 level, falling to $379 several times.

On the 27th, we reported on a new investment make by Japanese bitcoin exchange Bitflyer. The company invested in a blockchain-based Internet of Things program called “Sivira.” This project aims to “conjoin your favorite apps, automate actions, and keep information on the blockchain.”

Thursday started at $379.37, significantly lower than the prices we got used to seeing in the preceding days. The morning of the 28th saw a small climb into the low $380s, after which the markets kept the bitcoin price fairly flat for most of the day. At 7 PM, though, the previous day’s last minute plunge repeated itself, and the price fell into the high $360s range. The bitcoin price just barely made it out of the $360s before the end of the day, reaching $370 right at midnight.

In the news, Bitcoinist published an interview with the COO of the OpenBazaar project, Sam Patterson. Our writer Tyson O’Ham sat down with Patterson and discussed several things regarding the OpenBazaar project, including the upcoming beta release.

Friday, January 29 began with the bitcoin price at $370.39, just narrowly escaping the $360s after the previous night’s sudden selloff. The price climbed steadily in the early morning hours, reaching the low $380s. The growth halted at 7 AM, though, and the price slid downwards until the early evening, sinking to the mid-$370s. At 5 PM, the price jumped to $380, and the markets spent the rest of the day struggling to settle on $379 or $380.

Saturday opened at $377.75, an almost $8 gain over the start of the previous day. Aside from some small fluctuations, market activity on Saturday was fairly quiet. The price floated around in the mid-$370s throughout the day, with some spikes into the high-$370s and dips into the low-$370s.

In the news, we reported on rumors of the Digital Currency Group going public at some point, amid investment activity involving DCG in India. At this point, nothing has been confirmed, but our report says that DCG leader Barry Silbert has hinted that the company will likely go public at some point in the future.

Sunday, January 31 began with the bitcoin price at $377.74, virtually no change over the start of the 30th. Sunday was a repeat of Wednesday and Thursday; the price was extremely flat for most of the day, and then the markets suddenly took a dive in the early evening. at 6 PM, after hovering in the mid-to-high $370s for the entire day, the bitcoin price fell into the upper $360s, briefly touching $364.4. The markets attempted a slight recovery in the late night hours, climbing out of the $360s and returning to the low-$370s to end the night. Sunday concluded with the bitcoin price at $373.55, making for an overall decline of 6.33%.

What do you think will happen in the Bitcoin community in the coming week? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Bitcoin Mining Milestone, DCG to go Public? appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Bitcoin Mining Milestone, DCG to go Public?

Led 24

OpenBazaar Nears Beta Release, Presenting at d10e Con

Source: bitcoin


Decentralized Bitcoin marketplace, OpenBazaar, is nearing open beta release and will be holding an exhibit at the d10e conference in Amsterdam, February 17-19. They’ll be presenting in the main conference and running a smaller event of their own on the 19th, showcasing their standalone app. This marks an enormous milestone in the project’s maturity.

Also Read: BitGo Instant — ‘Eliminates Bitcoin Transaction Delays’

OpenBazaar Tests New Developments as Beta Release Approaches

The Project that spawned OpenBazaar

Originally a darknet hackathon proof-of-concept, OpenBazaar has been in active development since the spring of 2014, and it’s come a long way since then. Upon inception, the marketplace was explicitly for darknet use, aimed at solving the issues with existing darknet markets with trustless transactions, escrow, and decentralization. As OpenBazaar evolved, though, the focus shifted to empowering small merchants using the same features. In its current state, OpenBazaar is a platform similar to Etsy or eBay.
The difference lies in its P2P implementation. Because the network is hosted collectively by the people using the app, there’s no central authority to skim off of the merchants, which is the primary utility of OpenBazaar as a service.

With the public release so close on the horizon, I was curious to see what was in store for early adopters. After teasing the test build into functionality on my desktop, I got on the test network and took a look around: