Open Marketplace FAQ

Don't miss the general Particl Marketplace Wiki page.

Are there fees for using the marketplace?

For buyers: None (0%)

For using the decentralize escrow system: None (0%)

For vendors: Only a small, one-time listing fee designed to fight off spammers. The cost of the fee is dynamically adjusted depending on the listing size (i.e. amount of text, listing images size and number, etc) and is also dependent on the amount of days it stays listed as chosen by the vendor himself. The decentralized MAD escrow mechanism also does not require any fee except for the usual currency transaction fee.

Who collects the fees?

All of the fees generated by the Open Marketplace are redistributed, in its entirety, to the coin holders actively staking their coins (stakers). Not only do stakers earn all of the fees generated by the marketplace, but also all the fees generated by the Particl platform (i.e. transaction or proposal fees) as well as their staking rewards.

Do I need to keep my computer online for my listings to stay up?

No, once you have paid your listing fee, your listing will stay for as long as you've paid for.

How long do listings stay up?

Vendors can manually select the amount of time they would like their listings to stay on when creating them.

Can I use any other coin other than PART?

Not for the Alpha version, but it is a feature that is planned for future releases.

An eCommerce platform built focused on the free market should not be limited by its own built-in currency. Our mission is to lower the barriers to entry into the cryptocurrency economy as well as reduce friction in decentralized shopping and online shopping in general.

For this reason, and in the spirit of connecting many different cryptocurrency communities together, Particl's Open Marketplace is going to be designed in such a way that it can accept a wide variety of coins using either atomic swaps or third-party integrations (i.e. Changelly).

As the marketplace requires PART to function (MAD escrow, privacy capabilities, etc), all incoming non-PART transactions are automatically converted into PART in the background.

Are regular (fiat) currencies and traditional means of payment accepted?

Not for the Alpha version, but it is a feature that is planned for future releases. The integration of this particular feature will be dependent on if a solution that does not infringe on Particl's mission and vision (security and privacy) can be found and integrated into a user-friendly way.

How much privacy does the marketplace offer?

The Open Marketplace is built from the ground up as a privacy and security focused platform. All of the features and integrations developed for the Open Marketplace are designed in such a way that it won't leak any information about the platform's users. Personal/business data and privacy are protected as various levels:

Marketplace transactions: Purchases and sales made on the marketplace are all private by default. All transactions are made using Particl's very own integration of RingCT, making them untraceable and anonymous on the blockchain. Particl is also undergoing research and development in side-chains to explore new and more powerful ways to increase user privacy.

Communications: Communications are not currently integrated into the Open Marketplace, but when they will be, they will all be encrypted and secure by default. Particl uses the SMSG protocol to securely and privately relay messages between nodes.

Network identity (IP address): Although this feature is currently not enabled by default (for security reasons), The Open Marketplace can easily be routed to exclusively function over the Tor network. The Particl team is also making research and development into alternative IP anonymization protocols.

Metadata: All content uploaded on the marketplace (i.e. listing picture) is completely stripped of all its metadata before being relayed over the Particl network. This protects users from unknowingly leaking personal data over the network by adopting an aggressive stance on metadata stripping.

Content upload: All content uploaded on the marketplace (i.e. listing picture) is encrypted and cannot be traced back to the uploader.

Escrow: The Open Marketplace's decentralized escrow system works without the intervention of any intermediary. This means that no other party other than you and the one you are making a transaction with has to read previous discussions to make a decision on an issue. This ensures both parties can carry on business in perfect confidentiality.

Particl's implementation of RingCT is currently only on testnet, not on mainnet. This means the current mainnet version of the Open Marketplace does not make any use of RingCT, and that purchases and sales made on the marketplace are pseudonymous in nature, not anonymous.

Is the marketplace moderated? What will stop illegal listings from appearing on the marketplace

The Open Marketplace is moderated by its community through a decentralized governance mechanism based on coin weight. To delete content off of the marketplace, users need to flag it enough times so that its flagging ratio goes over the determined ratio (which currently stands at 10% of all coins in circulation voting against). No member of the Particl team can censor or delete any content.

Are there private listings?

Yes. Private listings reside within Private Markets and require a Market ID to access. These listings do not appear on the public interface of the marketplace, increasing their privacy level even more.

How does the escrow system functions?

Particl uses a fully decentralized escrow smart-contract based on the Mutually Assured Destruction game-theory. It uses the BIP 65 opcode to lock funds in a secure multi-signature address until all of the parties (the buyer and the seller) sign off on the transaction.

Both parties initiate the escrow transaction by depositing an equal security deposit to symbolize a virtual handshake. This security deposit can be adjusted, if both parties agree, between 0 and 100 percent of the item’s purchase price, but optimal MAD odds are achieved when the insurance deposit equals 100 percent of the item’s purchase price. The buyer also includes in that same transaction the payment for the product being purchased.

The funds then stay in this escrow smart-contract and are not released to any party until both confirm that the transaction has been completed satisfactorily. Only after both parties confirm the release of the funds will the vendor receive his payment for his sale. Both parties also get refunded their security deposit in full, at no fee.

To avoid filibustering, the MAD smart-contract has a timer that runs for a pre-determined duration of time (which can be extended if both parties agree). Once the timer expires, the funds cannot be released anymore, making the transaction a net loss for both parties. This prevents willingly delaying and hindering the escrow process to game the system by introducing financially punitive measures.

What is the fee for using the escrow system?

Barely any. The MAD escrow mechanism in itself is free of charge, but there is still a regular cryptocurrency transaction fee that needs to be paid. This fee is currently fixed at 0.005 PART (pennies) per escrow transaction.

How is marketplace data hosted? How does the marketplace deals with scalability issues?

SMSG

How are messages delivered between users?

Particl uses the SecureMessaging (SMSG) protocol which is a decentralized P2P message mixnet where all nodes store a copy of everyone's end-to-end encrypted messages and data for a duration of 48 hours (which can be increased for a fee). It is the default and most private DSN available for use on the platform. The reference implementation is developed in C++ and incorporated into the Particl daemon, allowing it to operate over the same peer to peer network as the Particl blockchain.

All nodes continuously attempt to decrypt every incoming message, but can only succeed if the node is able to recalculate the HMAC hash accompanying said message. If the hash check fails, then it can not be decrypted by the node, which means the message was either fraudulent, tampered with or meant for another node. SMSG messages and data are stripped from almost any metadata, therefore it is impossible for anyone to extract information such as IP addresses, sender or receiver. The only metadata accompanying data on SMSG are the hash, the encryption payload and a temporary public key.

Is the marketplace available on mobile?

Not for the Alpha version, but it is a feature that is planned for future releases.

Can the marketplace be accessed from the web?

Not for the Alpha version, but it is a feature that is planned for future releases. However, there already is a team of community members working on a web gateway (Mubiz.com). This website will make Particl's Open Marketplace available from the web and will allow buyers to use a wide-range of tools designed to make the marketplace as easy to use as any other traditional marketplace. For more information about Mubiz, we recommend reading Cryptoguard's interview with their founder, Albin Cauderlier, on our blog.

Why is the marketplace not connecting to any peer?

There are many reasons why your instance of the marketplace may not be connecting with any peers. Usually, it has to do with either your firewall, your ISP blocking certain ports, or conflicts with files. The best way to figure it out is to join the #help channel. We will have a troubleshooting guide available on the Wiki shortly.

Why is the marketplace not showing any product?

First, make sure that you are properly connected to peers. This should be displayed in the top right corner of your Particl Desktop. If your are properly connected to the network, then you may simply need to wait before the application syncs with the entire network. When syncing the marketplace, not only does the blockchain needs to be on the latest block, but the SMSG network (which carries listings) needs to be fully synced as well. This can sometimes take a bit longer than the blockchain itself. If you are connected and both networks are fully synced but listings are still not showing up, then you may want to do a clean installation of the marketplace to eliminate any issue related to the initial installation.