Nxt Marketplace (formerly known as the Digital Goods Store, or DGS) is a decentralized mall created for buying and selling digital goods. Like the Asset Exchange, it is built into the Nxt client and enables direct peer-to-peer trading. Although it was designed for buying and selling digital merchandise – music, ebooks, software, and so on – physical items have also been listed for sale.
The Marketplace was a planned feature from the start, detailed by Nxt creator BCNext before Nxt was launched. As BCNext remarked, the workflow is relatively simple:
1] A developer sends a message describing a product (it’s stored on the blockchain).
2] A user sends a payment to the developer’s account.
3] The developer sends an encrypted message with a link or a code (stored on the blockchain as well).
4] The user decrypts the message and uses the code to unlock premium in the application. *
1] Developer publishes their account on their webpage to prove they are the legitimate owner (or uses Reputation System of NXT).
2] All actions are public and can be audited (the encrypted message can be audited if one of the parties reveals the key).
3] Only transaction fees are charged, 100% profit goes to the developer.
4] No one can shut the store down nor they can DDoS it.
(* Note: ‘to unlock premium in the application’ means, in effect: to obtain the product).
Nxt’s decentralised Marketplace was released at block 210,000, on 1 August 2014.
Using the Marketplace
Now, large parts of the workflow described by BCNext have been automized in the NRS client.
You can list your digital (or physical) goods with ease, set a price, change or cancel the listings if you wish, and communicate safely with your customers through encrypted private messages on the Nxt blockchain. Costs are limited to the transaction fee and the cost of exchanging messages (both currently 1 NXT). Listing and selling goods through the Marketplace is free, except for transaction fees.
Buyers are able to search goods by issuer ID (account), item name or by tag (category). Buyers can set an order expiration date, and also leave private or public feedback after receiving the product.
There is a video tutorial available here.
3rd party use cases
The launch of Nxt Marketplace was met with great enthusiasm in the Nxt Community, but since then relatively little community energy has gone into developing it further. There are few user-friendly solutions (like Secureae.com for the Nxt Asset Exchange).
Melodius.me is the most promising announcement so far.
Due in Q1 of 2015, Melodius is a website for independent artists, built on top of the Nxt Marketplace. A partnership with crypto exchange CCEDK allows users to buy and sell their music, concert tickets, merchandise and shares not only with cryptocurrency (NXT and BTC) but also with fiat money in their local currency.
This significantly enhances the buying process, since Nxt remains very much in the background. The attraction for indie artists is the low commission fees; whilst iTunes and Google Play take substantial percentages of artists’ sales, Melodius charges only the standard transaction fees required by Nxt Marketplace. Every penny earned goes directly to the artist. Interestingly, the CEO of CCEDK, Ronny Boesing, worked in the music industry for many years, selling music around the world for major brands. His partnership with Melodius brings together two areas of interest and expertise.
A possible concern with having a decentralized and unregulated global marketplace may be that it attracts people seeking to circumvent the laws of their particular country. Nxt has chosen not to censor goods, but 3rd party sites like Melodius.me can easily filter listings according to their niche, their users’ choices or their local laws.
When buying and selling goods online there is, as in the real world, a chance of getting scammed. There are far too many sad stories about people (and not all of them anonymous) in the crypto world who turned out to be scammers. The solution is to be on your guard at all times, preferably only deal with people you know, always do your due diligence and, if possible, use a trusted escrow for larger transactions.
There is currently no escrow or reputation system implemented in the Nxt core (Reputation System is a feature planned for future development), but a solution for 3rd party clients or websites could be to implement CONCORDE, the escrow system developed by blackyblack, which is currently being tested on Nxt Testnet. Concorde will be included in the next release of FreeMarket, a 3rd party marketplace built on top of Nxt’s Arbitrary Message feature, but can be integrated into any Nxt system.
If you you want to help with the testing, make yourself known in this thread: https://nxtforum.org/freemarket/ann-concorde/, where further information about how Concorde works can also be found. Concorde is open-source and a direct download link can be found in Concorde’s nxtforum thread. As blackyblack writes:
‘It is an escrow system opened for all NXT users. Feel free to build your own projects on top of it or use for your daily needs.’
At present, Nxt Marketplace is being used, but mostly through the Nxt NRS Client. It remains a hidden gem of Nxt: an almost undiscovered secret, ready to be put to wider use.
A few listing sites are available, which detail all the goods for sale on Nxt Marketplace; users can see and search the goods, but everything must still be bought and sold with a Nxt Client. An example of such a listing site is http://jnxt.org/market/.
The goods sold are up to the imagination of the sellers. A house has been put up for sale, ebooks and articles are sold, domains, oil paintings, screensavers, a NXT faucet organised (NXT-55AK-82KK-DK3Q-6U4RN), crowdfunding has been attempted, NXT node operation services arranged (NXT-9TNK-QXJ6-YPMY-32CTA), NXT lapel pins (NXT-WBFF-3UMJ-RMLD-7VWS4) are available, even home-made maple syrup is offered (118670936523580125). Also, Nxter.org has its own store, NXTER STORE (NXT-EAVH-SLEV-KSEE-EE2KP).
The low fees and decentralized nature of Nxt Marketplace mean that it can solve real problems, not least for writers, musicians, developers and other digital content creators. Nxt Marketplace can easily be made the backbone of an app store, a decentralized crypto exchange, a subscription-based payment system for magazines, game updates, or even a full-featured crowdfunding platform. Only the imagination of the developer – or the business ordering the use case – sets the limits.
As one new Nxt developer wrote in early March 2014, ‘This [Nxt] is almost like building with lego bricks again’ – this person ended up coding SuperNET.
Nxt Marketplace is only one of the Nxt [CORE] features available.