Ethbay seeks to be a decentralized version of eBay or Craigslist, creating a blockchain marketplace where users can buy or sell goods and services using Ethereum as the common payment method. Ethbay is centered around the idea of completely free listings with a minimal transaction fee to garner as many users as possible. It also uses a native ERC20 token, EBY, that generates revenue for holders based on fees collected on Ethbay.
How Does It Work?
Ethbay relies upon Ethereum’s smart contract capabilities to link buyers and sellers. Ethbay views this system as both faster and more reliable than traditional peer-to-peer sales platforms.
“Ethbay uses an ultra secure Ethereum smart contract escrow solution to ensure the safety and security of both parties when transacting,” the developers wrote. “In addition, Ethbay provides one of the first truly anonymous marketplaces where no personal information is required for registration. This includes an encrypted messaging system when interacting with other users for increased privacy.”
A visitor to Ethbay’s site will be prompted to create an account ID and password, which can be restored with a 12-word mnemonic phrase. No actual identifying information is needed – not even an email – although an email can be linked to your account to receive feedback from the Ethbay platform.
Once a user creates an account, he or she can list the item for sale with either a fixed price or a minimum bid. When the price is met, the buyer puts his or her Ethereum into an escrow account, which is then released to the seller upon receipt of the item.
What Are Smart Contracts?
Smart contracts are one of the key features of the Ethereum blockchain, although they are not limited to that platform. Smart contracts act as self-fulfilling contracts. That is, their code contains all the rules and information needed to complete the contract without outside interference. The famous analog equivalent is a vending machine. A user inputs the correct number sequence, along with change, into a vending machine, and the machine automatically checks that the correct information has been inputted before releasing the desired item.
In the same way, blockchain smart contracts can be digitally created between a buyer and a seller and only executed when the built-in rules of the contract are satisfied. This eliminates much of the hassle of using a mediating agency, like a physical store or an online retailer’s back-end system, to conduct trades. Disputes between buyers and sellers are either handled automatically via the smart contract’s failure or referred to Ethbay’s mediation team for resolution.
Is Ethereum the Only Currency Used on Ethbay?
Ethereum will always be the native currency of Ethbay, though the company plans to add a range of different cryptocurrency payment methods in the future – including the proprietary EBY token.
How Does It Differ from Traditional Peer-to-Peer Markets?
In addition to its decentralized nature and use of Ethereum as its native currency, Ethbay holds the edge over traditional platforms, like Craigslist and Fiverr, by providing lower fees, higher security, and a reward for using its platform over a competing traditional platform.
“Ethbay takes these three problems head on with an innovative solution that eliminates listing fees, radically reduces transaction fees to just 1 percent, incorporates an ultra-secure Ethereum smart contract escrow solution, and even includes a platform-specific cryptocurrency that tracks the value and popularity of the platform, rewarding its holders with substantial returns on their investment,” the developers wrote.
Ethbay also protects its users from fraud, an all-too-common problem on peer-to-peer sharing platforms.
“First of all, the use of such platforms to perpetrate fraud is nothing short of notorious,” the developers explained in their white paper. “One of the most common scams in existence a few years ago was to offer an item for sale, accept a winning bid, and then request payment before delivery. Upon delivery, the poor buyer would discover that they had received something altogether different from what they ordered, usually a cheap knockoff or a poorly-done fake.”
Another popular fraud was the presentation of a fake proof of payment, a fraud that is patently impossible on the Ethbay blockchain.
How Is Security Guaranteed If All Transactions Are Anonymous?
Ethbay uses its escrow account as a sort of quality filter for both buyers and sellers. The age-old scam of failing to deliver a product after receiving payment is done away with due to Ethbay’s smart contract implementation; all facets of the contract have to be satisfied in order for the contract to be completed.
“Once the buyer receives their order and are satisfied with their purchase, they can release the escrow to the seller,” the developers wrote. “If the escrow is not manually released by the buyer, it will automatically be released to the seller after 30 days. However, the seller can file a dispute requesting an earlier escrow release if they feel the buyer is unfairly holding their funds or is being non-responsive to the seller’s messages.”
Disputes handled directly by Ethbay involve revealing more personal information than a simple peer-to-peer sale, the developers noted.
Tell Me More About EBY
EBY is the creation of Ethbay, and the development team hopes that it will eventually become one of the preferred mediums of exchange for Ethbay itself. The team plans to hold an initial coin offering on June 7, with each EBY equal to about 1/5,000th of an ETH. There will be 80,000 tokens available for sale out of the total supply of 100,000. All tokens that remain unsold or unallocated following the sale will be destroyed.
What About the Roadmap?
Ethbay’s roadmap begins with the project launch in November 2018. By February 2019, the company plans to have its alpha main net available for use, with mobile platforms coming in March. In April, Ethbay plans to add Ethbay Services to its extant goods sales platform. In July, the company will begin accepting EBY as a payment option, and by October, a localized form of the site, dubbed Ethbay Classifieds, will go live.