How to

Tutorial: OpenBazaar, a social network of shops on the blockchain

Key facts:
  • It is an online peer-to-peer marketing platform based on distributed ledger technology.

  • The only form of payment is via bitcoin.

Blockchain technology is in full expansion and more and more decentralized applications are conquering the world. Since the birth of the parent cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the ecosystem of this type of technology has become increasingly diverse, eventually invading the world of online sales with services such as OpenBazaaran online marketing platform based on distributed accounting technology, where each user or store represents an individual node in the network, which is able to communicate with each of its colleagues on the platform.

OpenBazaar does not only serve as a platform for buying and selling. According to its own creators, it is “It’s the merging of Twitter, eBay and BitTorrent together” since it integrates the features of each of these platforms; We will see this in detail later.

On the other hand, in terms of its history, OpenBazaar was launched in 2016 as a decentralized online marketing application, meaning there are no central entities involved in product marketing. Starting from this attribute, lThe only payment method in OpenBazaar is via bitcoin. Another striking feature of this application is that it is completely open source, something that has become very common among applications based on blockchain technology.

OpenBaazar installation

First we need to download the software OpenBazaar from its web portal. The installation is not complicated at all, when you finish the installation, the following screen will automatically appear.

The main screen when opening OpenBazaar for the first time

Sometimes this will not be the first screen we will see, but we will find one that indicates an error connecting to the server, we just have to click on retry until it connects.

First of all we have to choose our language. After that, the next screen will show us a welcome message showing how OpenBazaar works and some terms and conditions. We will click next and it will be our turn to choose our country of origin. This is vital so that the system can manage the type of shipments we send (regional, international).

In the next step, we have to choose the currency in which we will view the publications. This will apply when publishing the prices of our products, but only for the purpose of showing their equivalence, as all payments are made via bitcoin.

When you click next, we will see the following window.

A form for entering basic data about our profile, which can be changed later.

On this screen we will set the information that will be displayed on our profile: our personal name, a short description of 160 characters and indicate whether sensitive content will be displayed on our profile. This information may be modified later; We can also leave it empty, because it is optional.

In the next window we have to choose a theme for our profile; As in the previous case, this can be changed later.

We can then set a profile picture for our store.

The image can be added in any format, it is recommended to use PNG type images

In the last two options, OpenBazaar will offer us a suggestion to follow official OpenBazaar accounts as well as a technical service account. Finally, the terms and conditions of service will be displayed: we will click accept and we will have our store ready.

First look at OpenBazaar

As we could see, OpenBazaar is very similar to a web browser, not only in appearance but also in functionality. To access certain accounts, we can write either your OpenBazaar ID (the series of numbers we see below our name) or your nickname.

Now, what do we see?

The main screen of our profile.

At the top is the research bar. On the right side of the ribbon there are buttons: «Find out» it will allow us to explore other stores; «Notifications«; and also that of «Settings«.

Below our name is an OpenBazaar ID, similar to a bitcoin wallet address. If you’ve used Twitter, you’ll be very familiar with what you’ll see in the bottom bar: your followers, your followers, and your profile information. Recall that OpenBazaar is a social marketplace, so we can share information from our social networks on the platform. On the right is the platform chat.

Let’s do some research

To start the research we have to click on «Find out» o Ctrl+D.

Customized ads based on our followers

In this section, the first thing we will see will be the ads or products currently offered by the people we follow. But if we click on «Coincidentally» in the upper right corner we see random lists online, accepting the notification that will appear regarding the sensitive content that may appear; Everything is under our responsibility. Upon acceptance it will show us the following.

These products are selected at random.

In this list we can see some products offered on the platform. To see the product in more detail, just click on it and the following will open.

The main view of the selected product

What we see is a profile of the user’s shop, along with a description and photo of the product. Let’s remember; OpenBazaar is based on blockchain technology, therefore each store is an individual node – just like a listing – so if we look at the address bar, we will notice a long string of characters, which identifies the product or store.

Later we will see in more detail how to find out more about the product to buy. For now, let’s continue our research.

Returning to the list, if we look closely at the top left corner we will see two options «Listed» y «pages«. At first we saw lists or products offered; On the other hand, if we click on Pages, we can see the profiles of different network users.

Well, as we mentioned at the beginning, each OpenBazaar ID consists of a long string of characters, which we can place in the upper navigation bar that will redirect us directly to the corresponding store. But the difficulty of remembering this long chain is more than obvious; There are nicknames for this, preceded by @ which can also be written in the address bar. To create a nickname you can follow it’s a tutorial that OpenBazaar offers to create unique nicknames.

As for the top bar, we can’t just write OpenBazaar ID or nicknames in it; We can also search for products based on labels or hashtags. Therefore, if you want to search by OpenBazaar ID, you simply need to copy it without further ado; However, for nickname searches, it must be preceded by @, and for tags by #.

Well, now we have a little understanding of how this app works. It’s time to get down to something more serious: shopping.

Shopping with OpenBazaar

We assume that you already know how to search for and choose the product you want, because we taught you how to do it in the previous section. We go directly to the product we selected before; We will be shown the following.

Product purchase details

Like any good shopper, the first thing to do when shopping is to see the seller’s reputation and reviews. To do this, we can click on the stars below the button «Cbuy now”, to direct us to «Reviews«, which is located just below the publication.

Always consider this Reviews section before purchasing.

Continuing, if we are satisfied with the seller, we will click on «Buy now«. Here, since it’s our first purchase, we’ll be asked if we have a bitcoin wallet. If you don’t have one, OpenBazaar will show us a list of bitcoin wallet providers we can use. We remind you that CriptoNoticias offers you a large number of tutorials for creating and using bitcoin wallets.

OpenBazaar asks if the user has a wallet

When we already have a wallet, we will click on it I and we will continue.

Always remember that when choosing a moderator for moderated payments, we need to know their reputation

Then we have to choose a payment method. There are currently two payment formats. On the one hand there is moderate payment, which is based on the involvement of a third person or moderator in the case disputes or disagreement of the parties. To do this, money will be sent to a multi-signature wallet where, only when the parties agree and the buyer has qualified the seller, the money will be sent to the seller’s wallet. To learn how the moderated payment process works, visit is a connection. On the other hand, we have an option Direct payment: This option works for low reputation sellers; It is not recommended because it sends the payment directly to the seller’s wallet, and in case of fraud there will be no way to get a refund immediately.

After choosing a payment method, we need to enter the address for our wallet. It may seem curious to us when we shop, but OpenBazaar requires this for future refunds. This address can be changed from the configuration menu.

This address can be changed in the settings menu.

Since we are buying a physical product, an additional step is required: attaching shipping address information. If the seller does not ship to our address, we will not be able to purchase this product.

If our country is not available for delivery, this will be reflected at the end of the transaction.

After entering our shipping details, we will be asked for additional confirmation of the shipping address or if we want to add another one. If you agree, we will click on the next button, which will show us the final window of the process. Here we will see the type of payment we choose (direct, moderate), the address and the product along with its quantity.

Before we continue, we must emphasize that when buying a product, due to the blockchain architecture that the platform has, it cannot be canceled afterwards, so you must take this into account, and if you regret it, you must clearly tell the seller via message. Once this is cleared up, we will continue to click on Pay Order where the following will open for us.

This payment address can also be found in the Purchases section of the menu

On this screen we are given the address to which we will send the payment. Product cancellation does not necessarily have to be done immediately; If we want to do it later, we can get this address again in the section Shopping found on the menu.

An important feature of OpenBazaar is incorporating the ShapeShift platform which allows payment from other cryptocurrencies, but we need to be clear about the percentage that is discounted for exchanging bitcoins to those altcoins; It might be a bit more expensive. To use this tool, we must click on the option «Pay with Altcoins» which will open the ShapeShift menu where we will process the payment with the cryptocurrency of our choice.

After the transfer, we will see a confirmation icon with product information on the screen.

Order management in OpenBazaar

In OpenBazaar you can manage your orders from the « sectionShopping«. To access it we will display a menu and click on Shopping or we will press a shortcut on the keyboard Dash+K which will take us to the next window.

List of orders we have placed.

In this window, we can see the products, whether we have paid or not. If the product has already been cancelled, we will have the option «Order details» where by clicking we will find purchase details, delivery, as well as a conversation with the seller. In case the purchase was made via Moderate payit is advisable to maintain good communication with the seller.

Details of an already paid product.

In case you haven’t paid for the item, in the option Pay for this purchase We will see the seller’s address details to cancel the item. As with the items already paid for, we will find shipping and conversation details.

Product details have not been canceled yet

A special feature that occurs with items purchased under PAug Moderate is that, once you have the article in your hands, you must evaluate and select «Complete this order» which we will find in the upper right corner of the purchase details box. This to release bitcoins for the seller.

Vender and OpenBazaar

It’s time to sell, and the first thing we have to do to create our store is to click on the button «Create a store» shown in the picture.

Create a store in OpenBazaar

This will take us to the small form needed to populate our store.

Please note that this information refers to our store and not to the product being offered.

Here we just need to provide information about: the name of our store, a description of our store, labels (important when locating our products) and finally indicate whether we will display explicit content. In the next window we have to select our moderators for moderated payments.

Before choosing any, consider their reputation and commission for resolving disputes.

Under the button «See page» we will find the commission charged by the moderator in case of a dispute about the product. To learn more about moderator reputation, you can visit forum reddit the OpenBazaar where you can learn more about each moderator.

If you do not select any of the moderators, only the direct payment option will be active for each product you offer in the store.

To finish we will click on Finish it and we will have the action active.

Something important before you continue. Let us remind you that OpenBazaar is a decentralized network of stores, and it works in client-server mode, that is, for your store to be active, your session must be active, so that every time you turn off the computer, the items will not be available to users. To avoid these types of problems, OpenBazaar provides a guide on how to customize a VPS server so that your session is always active and avoid these types of problems. You can check out this guide here.

With that cleared up, let’s continue. If you are a good observer, you noticed that we will have 2 new cards on our profile, one is Criticism from other users about our products and services, and another is Store that we previously created. We will click on the latter which will show us the next window.

The store is already created ready to add items.

To offer our first product we must click on «New Listing» located above the tab Store.

The main form for adding products to our store.

In this form, although it is a bit extensive, we have to take into account some important aspects for the publication. In order to better organize the ideas, we will go by blocks.

The first block is List, product information in general. Here we will fill in the information about our product. We must take into account that although in our case we will express the price in bolivars, the actual price will be in bitcoins.

U Ccategories We need to add categories that our product could occupy within the ads you offer in your store. These categories are not predefined so take your time to organize them.

Block Find out refers to the tags we will add to our product, thanks to these tags our product can be found more easily by other users.

In the block of shipment, in the case of a physical product, we must enter the type of shipment; If it’s international, we must specifically list the countries we can ship to. If it is a digital shipment, we will only indicate the processing time. On the other hand, the block Expiration It is used to determine the deadline in which, once met, the product will be removed from the store.

Finally, there are terms and conditions regarding product purchases and return policies. We have to set them ourselves depending on our capacity as sellers.

We will click on Save Changes and that’s it, we can see our product in our store.

Details about the product offered in our store.

Well, what comes next is order management. Every time someone buys one of your products, a notification will appear, and clicking on it will send us to the sales section, although we can access it through the menu by clicking on Sales or shortcut Ctrl+M.

On this profile we will find something like this:

Details of the product sold.

We will be able to see the address to which the product will be sent, the status of the product, payment information and other details. The states in which the products can be found are as follows.

  • Purchases (pending payment): means that the user has processed the purchase of the item, but has not canceled it yet
  • Ready to process (paid in full): Payment for the item has already been paid in full.
  • Confirmed (Sent): This is when we tell the system that we have already shipped the product, regardless of whether it is physical or digital.
  • Completed (payment released)– This status will be seen when the payments are moderated, and it means that the customer is satisfied with the product he received.
  • Dispute: occurs only with moderate payments and means that the customer has requested a dispute for some reason.
  • Closed Controversy: means that the dispute is closed and the moderator has made a decision, but the funds have not been released yet.
  • The controversy is over: This means that the dispute has already been resolved and the funds have reached the winning party in the dispute.

Once the product is shipped, we need to select the Shipping tab and fill out the shipping form so that the product can change its status.


OpenBazaar has definitely come to change the paradigm of online sales. By providing a new sales format and implementing blockchain technology, it has become famous among a good group of users who are looking for decentralized sales formats, without stopping in the deep web.

One of the main qualities of OpenBazaar is ultimately the sales format on social networks, since they do not leave us with traditional pages that are only visited to make a purchase and forget about them until the next time we want to buy something – as happens with Amazon or Free market. Now we can communicate with our customers or sellers in a closer way.

On the other hand, among its advantages we find the implementation of blockchain technology, because it offers a clean network, without intermediaries and regulations.

On the other hand, we believe that purchases cannot be canceled, but this is not an evil that should bother us. This is because the blockchain technology implemented in OpenBazaar, like a bitcoin transaction, once signed and verified, cannot be reversed, much less reversed.

OpenBazaar is just getting started, but it’s looking increasingly exciting. Be sure to visit its official website to get more information and documentation regarding this platform.

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