Brawker, the site that connects Bitcoiners who want to purchase things currently only available for fiat with willing buyers, has just implemented multisignature escrow as a default for all transactions.
The process works like this: if you want something that’s not available for Bitcoin, you post its URL on Brawker’s homepage. People who are interested in buying bitcoins for fiat can then bid to make the fiat purchase on your behalf. Once you receive the item you wanted, you then release your bitcoins.
Before, the coins were held on Brawker’s servers while transactions were executed. In an excellent move for security, however, Brawker has recently stopped holding users’ coins altogether.
The site’s blog announcement explains:
“When you create an account at Brawker you are not required to deposit any bitcoins. Instead, your funds will go through a multisignature address controlled by at least two of three different keys. The Bitcoin spender receives a key, the buyer has the second one, and Brawker the third key.”
Brawker will only become involved as an escrow agent if there is a dispute between buyer and seller.
A representative from Brawker added:
“Multisig is the next logical step in the development of the Bitcoin economy, moving companies from a banking model to a peer-to-peer transaction model.”
Acting as a Brawker buyer is also a nice way to get bitcoins privately. Yes, your identity may become connected to the item purchased (via your credit card or PayPal account or however you transfer fiat), but the bitcoins that you receive in exchange for your service need not be tied to your identity. They’ll just flow through your Brawker account, which is linked to an email address of your choosing.
Bitcoin sellers can also benefit by setting a discount rate, or the amount above the market rate for which they’ll sell their bitcoins. Sellers are furthermore encouraged to use features like Amazon Wishlists to mask their shipping addresses for privacy.
Lastly, Brawker also sells Bitcoin for fiat directly, via credit card or PayPal.
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