A bitcoin-marketplace using Freenet?

A few days ago, xor, the developer of the Web of Trust in Freenet got in contact with the brain behind the planned Web of Trust for Openbazaar, and toad, the former maintainer of Freenet questioned whether we would actually want a marketplace using Freenet.

I took a a few days to ponder the question, and I think a marketplace using Freenet would be a good idea - for Freenet as well as for society.

Freenet is likely the most secure way for implementing a digital market, which means it can work safely for small sums, but not for large ones - except if you can launder huge amounts of digital money. As such it is liberating for small people, but not for syndicates. For example a drug cartel needs to be able to turn lots of money into clean cash to pay henchmen abroads. Since you can watch bitcoin more easily than cash and an anonymous network makes it much harder to use scare-tactics against competing sellers, moving the marketplace from the street to the internet weakens syndicates and other organized crime by removing part of their options for creating a monopoly by force.

If a bitcoin marketplace with some privacy for small-scale users should become a bigger problem than the benefit it brings by weakening organized crime, any state or other big player can easily force the majority of users to reveal their identities by using the inherent tracability of bitcoin transactions.

Also the best technologies in freenet were developed (or rather: got to widespread use), because it had to actually withstand attacks.

Freenet as marketplace with privacy for small people equivalent to cash-payments would also help improve its suitability for whistleblowers - see hiding in the forest: A better alternative.

For free speech this would also help, because different from other solutions, freenet has the required properties for that: a store with lifetime depending on the popularity of content, not the power of the publisher, which provides DoS-resistant hosting without the need to have a 24/7 server, stable and untraceable pseudonyms (ignoring fixable attack-vectors) and an optional friend-to-friend darknet.

In short: A decentralized ebay-killer would be cool and likely beneficial to Freenet and Free Speech without bringing actual benefit for organized crime.

Also this might be what is needed to bring widespread darknet adoption.

And last but not least, we would not be able to stop people from implementing a marketplace over freenet: Censorship resistance also means resistance against censorship by us.

Final note: Openbazaar is written in Python and Freenet has decent Python Bindings (though they are not beautiful everywhere), so it should not be too hard to use it for Openbazaar. A good start could be the WoT-code written for Infocalypse in last years GSoC: Web of Trust integration as well as private messaging.

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