Bitcoin is often considered the most important technological breakthrough since the internet. There is a very simple reason behind it: it’s one of the first time people can actually gain full control over their own money and transact with anyone in the world without requiring the assistance or oversight of any third-party or authority figure. In other words, Bitcoin gives us, the people, financial and economic freedom like never before.
As great as it sounds, Bitcoin is still unfortunately pretty dependent on centralized infrastructure, and thus, is having a hard time realizing its vision. When you think about it, the moment you want to spend your coins, what do you do? Maybe you transfer them to an exchange, trade them against fiat currencies, make a withdraw into your bank account, and then, finally, visit an eCommerce platform to make a purchase. Or maybe you have found some service company that will accept your coins and buy products on the web on your behalf. That is, in both cases, quite costly in terms of fees, time spent navigating through all these hoops and, most importantly, still pretty much centralized. Not only does this practice goes against everything Bitcoin was created for, namely the vision of a new economy, one that is independent of centralized authorities and third-parties, but it also makes Bitcoin’s adoption as a currency a dud.
So how do we fix that problem? How can we fill the gap to adoption and place the final piece of the puzzle, so to speak? How can we get to the point where we won’t have to exit crypto anymore because spending Bitcoin and other coins will be easier than switching back to the old global fiat economy?
Bitcoin’s Missing Piece to its Grand Puzzle
Bitcoin is almost everything a currency should be, but there appears to be something missing for a true crypto-based economy to flourish and thrive. Of course, some merchants do accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies directly and without intermediary, but they are few and far in between and usually difficult to find within all the noise. Because most people value convenience so much, they would rather spend more money and “exit” the crypto ecosystem rather than going through the hassle of finding these vendors.
The end result is that, as it stands today, Bitcoin is used for mostly three things: trading/speculation, remittance payments, and store of value. It is certainly debatable how much it is used for actual spending, but one thing is certain: spending Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for products and services is, at the moment, considerably more of a hassle than simply using fiat currencies. This makes cryptocurrencies simply unattractive to most people outside the relatively small cryptocurrency community and is one of the main reasons it is still not recognized as a serious currency.
When we, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, dream about mainstream adoption, we have to first recognize the challenges we still face to this day. Without Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies being at least as easily, affordably, and conveniently spendable as traditional currencies, the cryptocurrency ecosystem is likely to remain stuck within its own bubble. The path to mainstream adoption of the Bitcoin decentralized currency and the independent economy it seeks to create cannot rely on the centralized infrastructure of the old global fiat economy.
The path to mainstream adoption of the Bitcoin decentralized currency and the independent economy it seeks to create cannot rely on the centralized infrastructure of the old global fiat economy.
With the Bitcoin cryptocurrency ecosystem and community quickly growing within the last few years, it seems the final roadblock in the path to mainstream adoption and the realization of crypto as a truly independent economy is the ability to be able to easily spend coins without third-party and have it be as convenient and affordable as it would be when spending traditional currencies within the global fiat economy.
The Day Has Come for Crypto to Claim its Independence
Up until now, and even after all these years, there hasn’t been any clear solution to the issue of not being able to spend Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with the same freedom and convenience you can transact them. Many companies and websites have tried to claim they were allowing people to easily spend their coins, but in the end, it always required you to trust that entity and pay fees on top of it. Far from ideal!
There is, however, a project presenting itself as a solid and completely trustless solution to the now decade-old coin spending problem, and could very well help Bitcoin’s adoption as an actual currency. Let’s dive right into what makes this project such a good candidate to be that missing piece of the Bitcoin’s puzzle.
Particl’s Open Marketplace
Built on the most recent Bitcoin codebase, Particl’s Open Marketplace is a decentralized, fully trustless marketplace specifically designed to work with your favorite cryptocurrency. Imagine a platform similar to eBay, but with no intermediary whatsoever, the possibility to use your favorite coin (including Bitcoin), built with privacy at its core, and with barely any fee. All the good stuff from eBay…without the bad stuff! Too good to be true? Absolutely not!
The absence of any intermediary, just like Bitcoin, allows the Open Marketplace to run very effectively without any bias and at a bare minimal cost. The built-in privacy features included with the Particl network (RingCT on Bitcoin codebase) and the lack of any sort of data mining also insures that no party, such as a platform operator or payment processor, can access your personal information. The only data ever shared with another party is your shipping address to the vendors you’re buying products from.
Built on the Bitcoin Codebase
Particl Open Marketplace is built on the latest Bitcoin codebase, meaning it has all the latest features brought forth by the most recent updates to Bitcoin, including a default integration of Segwit, Lightning Network-readiness, as well as being compatible with most of the Bitcoin products out there (i.e. Bitpay’s Copay Bitcoin mobile wallet is named Particl Copay on the Particl blockchain).
It is important to note, however, that Particl is not an ICO, not an Ethereum-token, and runs its very own blockchain in order to have full control over its ecosystem. The blockchain was launched in a very fair way years ago and is developed by a team of mostly Bitcoin fanatics that have been working in crypto for quite some time and have made names for themselves. Particl’s Github page is one of the most active one in the entire blockchain industry, and the amount of work being done on it is tremendous, especially in comparison to other cryptocurrency projects, always ranking in among the top coins in Darpal’s Github Audit Reports.
Use Your Favorite Coin
Straying away from the counter-productive “tribalism” currently plaguing the crypto industry, Particl Open Marketplace’s underlying protocol is designed to work with your favorite cryptocurrency. While initial versions of the marketplace might only work with PART to begin with, it has been coded in such a way that integrating almost any coin to its platform is made trivial. Of course, Bitcoin is planned to be the first coin introduced to the platform.
Tribalism, or the bad habit many people in the crypto industry adopt when fighting over “who has the best coin or platform”, is not a philosophy endorsed by the Particl team. Contrary to many ICOs and “new” blockchain projects, Particl is free for almost any crypto community to use and does not discriminate in favor of its native currency. Forcing users to use a native currency is a mistake we see way too often now in the industry and a gimmick that is highly unappealing to most people. Particl’s Open Marketplace is designed to benefit the entire crypto ecosystem and add utility to all coins!
Using some of the latest privacy technologies in the industry, the Open Marketplace is private-by-design, meaning that all purchases and sales made from within its platform are untraceable by default, regardless of the coin used to make the purchase.
In fact, Particl has been the first project to integrate RingCT, the privacy protocol made popular by Monero, on the Bitcoin codebase (or any other codebase other than Cryptonote, for that matter). Moreover, the entire platform is built with privacy at its core, meaning no data can ever leak out of the platform or be recorded in a publicly auditable fashion on the blockchain. Content is stripped of all its metadata (i.e. listing pictures), IP addresses are anonymized, and every aspect of the marketplace is designed to make transactions and user identities untraceable. Additionally, you can start your own private market (currently called “bubbles”) and make products available only to those who you send the access key to, making the entire process even more private.
Remember, it doesn’t matter if you use Bitcoin, Ethereum, or even Ripple to make a purchase, your transaction will still be untraceable and your identity will be kept hidden at all time.
Ridiculously Low Fees
What would be the use of such a marketplace if fees were high? The whole point of this article was to, in part, point out how expensive shopping with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can get because you are forced to use third-parties which, among the many disadvantages they cause, charge users with fees that make spending coins not a cost-effective activity. For the crypto economy to really become a viable option, fees need to be kept at a minimum, which is exactly the case on Particl’s Open Marketplace.
While Particl is already very low on fees at this current moment in time, it will ultimately reach its vision and be fully integrated with both scalable and entirely trustless solutions which will make it a near-zero fee platform. Protocols such as atomic swaps (already live on mainnet since October 2017), Lightning Network, Segwit, and others will make using Particl extremely affordable and as convenient and fast as traditional eCommerce platforms.
Generally speaking, charging vendors with barely any fee, especially when they are used to be being abused by traditional platforms, means they will be able to either make more profit-per-sale or lower their prices to gain an advantage over their competitors and get bigger sales volume. The end result for the customer is likely to be more affordable products than anywhere else on the web. Fees on traditional eCommerce platforms are outrageous, the new crypto economy is a fair one that is centered around its users, not the platform’s operator!
No Intermediary At All
No, you are not dreaming. All of this is indeed available without the use of any third-party or central authority whatsoever. Every feature available on the Open Marketplace comes from 100% trustless protocols. For example, atomic swaps is the protocol used to enable you to use your favorite coin. The escrow is managed through a mechanism using a smart-contract and security deposits and is based on the MAD game-theory. The governance (or moderation) of the marketplace’s content is entirely controlled by the community.
There is absolutely no intermediary on Particl, just like there is no intermediary involved when transacting Bitcoin from person-to-person. In other words, everything that Bitcoin has which made its cryptocurrency great, Particl offers the same but to the eCommerce industry. No intermediary means anything you do within the platform is perfectly secure and untraceable, that your data isn’t collected or shared with anyone, and that the platform can be used at a bare minimal cost.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the path to mainstream adoption of the Bitcoin decentralized currency and the independent economy it seeks to create cannot rely on the centralized infrastructure of the old global fiat economy.
Earn Cryptocurrencies While You Sleep
Another important aspect of an “economy” is to be able to earn transferable value (currency) directly within it. This is precisely what Particl makes possible.
In fact, not only can you sell products and services online to earn cryptocurrencies without requiring any intermediary, but you also receive the entirety of the fees generated by the Particl platform as a coin holder. This aspect of the platform constitutes a great source of passive income and is expected to get exponentially profitable as the marketplace sees more sales volume per day. This passive income mechanism also applies to all future paid (but optional) features of the marketplace such as featured listing spots, for example.
The Power of Community
With Particl’s Open Marketplace, you can expect convenience like never seen before when looking for vendors that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Because Particl presents itself as a common ground for both vendors and buyers, it makes it very easy to find the product or service you are looking for or to get the exposure you deserve as a vendor accepting crypto. Looking for something? Just type what you wish to purchase in the search bar, and be exposed to a multitude of vendors selling what you need. Selling stuff? Just list your products on the Open Marketplace and instantly get the exposure you deserve in front of the right target audience. Gone are the days spent digging through search engines and advertising your business on obscure cryptocurrency forums, the world is now at your fingertips and is available at minimum effort!
The Building Blocks of the New Economy
Bitcoin and Particl’s Open Marketplace are entirely complementary and made to live side-by-side. If we were to compare the new, independent economy made possible by Bitcoin and Particl to a house, Bitcoin would be its cornerstone (or its foundation) while Particl would the support beams. Bitcoin is what started it all (the cornerstone), but without its support beams, the house would not be able to stand ground for much longer, let alone withstand severe storms of FUD and speculation-led bear markets.
Be Part of the Solution
The mainnet release of Particl Open Marketplace is rapidly approaching, and the days where Bitcoin was stuck within its own bubble caused by the inconvenience of spending coins are now coming to an end. With a super convenient, affordable, eye-candy, and trustless solution to spend coins about to see the day, now is the time to get involved!
Particl Open Marketplace is currently undergoing heavy testing on public testnet and is nearing its Beta release, and we need you now more than ever! Come to join our community, connect with other pioneers of the new, independent economy, and spread the word around. We now stand at the forefront of one of the biggest financial revolution to ever see the day: the birth of the first truly global and independent economy powered by Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies!