BitMarkets is an already-launched P2P marketplace similar to the much-touted OpenBazaar. Its protocol integrates Bitcoin for buying and selling, but its client software is currently only available for Mac OSX. Regarding compatibility with other operating systems, lead developer Steve Dekorte says:
“We’re working on a port of Bitmarkets to Linux and Windows using the GNUstep frameworks.”
BitMarkets is just one product in Dekorte's wider umbrella at Voluntary.net. Also included is a customized Bitmessage client for BitMarkets called BitPost, as well as a Tor relay node customization program called TorBar. Dekorte spoke with Cointelegraph about BitMarkets and Voluntary.net's further offerings – namely what he hopes they accomplish.
Cointelegraph: What was the inspiration for the Voluntary.net umbrella?
Steve Dekorte: Our designer Chris Robinson owned the Voluntary.net domain, and as we’re all varieties of voluntarists, it seemed like a good fit.
CT: Did you originally intend to develop so many apps on Voluntary.net?
SD: In the process of making Bitmarkets, we had to write frameworks for Bitmessage and Tor. Our BitPost and TorBar apps grew out of ways to test those frameworks. Crypt is an app I wrote some time ago and made free and open sourced when the Snowden revelations came out.
“We’d like to (eventually) help give people more freedom than they might have otherwise.”
CT: Are you lead developer? What's your development background?
SD: Yes. I’m a programmer who’s worked at a few startups and then did indy Mac software and consulting starting in 2000. I’ve also done a few open source projects. One of them was a programming language called Io.
CT: When was Voluntary begun? Who's on the team?
SD: A spec for Bitmarkets was put together in late 2013 and we released the first version to the public on May 2014. The team is Chris Robinson, Rich Collins, Adam Thorsen, and I. We welcome the help of anyone who would like to contribute.
CT: What do you still hope to achieve with Voluntary's apps?
SD: We’d like to (eventually) help give people more freedom than they might have otherwise.
CT: Which of Voluntary's apps do you believe is most useful?
“If the power of corrupt and incompetent governments to behave this way were to somehow be removed, a great deal of human suffering could be avoided.”
CT: What do you think about free markets in general?
SD: Recently, an 80 year old grandmother was trampled to death in a food riot in Venezuela. This was the direct result of food shortages caused by government money printing and price control policies. Similar policies resulted in widespread famine in Zimbabwe, and history is full of similar examples. If the power of corrupt and incompetent governments to behave this way were to somehow be removed, a great deal of human suffering could be avoided.
CT: What's been the uptake on your apps so far?
SD: Almost no users yet.
CT: What can we expect next from Voluntary?
SD: There are more ambitious projects we’d like to work on in the future but right now our focus now is on the multi-platform version of Bitmarkets and adding a few features to it.
What do you think it will take for today's users of centralized marketplaces to switch to decentralized versions? Share below.