Particl Marketplace Explained¶
This article is a technical explanation for the more curious minds.
With the award-winning Particl Marketplace, you transform today’s e-commerce into a free, secure, cost-efficient, and trustworthy environment where you can enjoy true free market conditions. How this all comes together is explained in this section.
Understanding the Basics of Particl Marketplace
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While the Particl Marketplace is an easy-to-use e-commerce platform, what happens in the background is relatively complex and employs several brand-new technologies. There’s no server, central database, or employees working at keeping the marketplace up and running. Instead, it relies on an intricate combination of distributed technologies developed, maintained, and run by a vast and global network of participants.
Autonomous — runs by itself and requires no human intervention
Secure — has the highest level of digital security provided by trustless encryption
Private — no data or personal information is ever collected about you
Resilient — can’t be censored or shut down by anyone
Censorship-proof — no predefined rules or policies, and no ban on items
Near-zero fee — only pay the bare minimum for the network to run by itself
Technicals in a Nutshell¶
Particl Marketplace is an application on the Particl Desktop client. It uses Particl’s Open Market Protocol (OMP) to connect and interact with the Particl Network. That’s the backbone for the decentralized payments, communications, security, and privacy capabilities of the marketplace.
The blockchain executes and verifies all financial transactions using its native and untraceable currency, PART. Therefore, all transactions on the Particl Marketplace are private and confidential by default.
On the other end, the SecureMessaging (SMSG) protocol processes all the non-financial data related to the decentralized marketplace and securely broadcasts it to the rest of the network using military-grade encryption.
The Particl Network is entirely trustless and requires no third-party to function.
The front-end part of any application or platform refers to what a user directly interacts with. It is, more directly, the graphical interface.
Particl Desktop & Marketplace¶
If you want to sell or purchase an item on Particl Marketplace, browse listings and markets, leave a comment, or any other similar action, you inevitably need to use Particl Marketplace, the front-end application of Particl to do so. It is what makes all the code appear visually.
A web and a mobile version of Particl Marketplace are planned to be released later on and will play a key role in making the platform more accessible and convenient to use.
Particl Desktop and Particl Marketplace are ever-ongoing works in progress. Every day, they get better, easier to use, and more accessible for all. Exciting new projects and features constantly emerge to help the Particl ecosystem thrive.
The back-end of any application or platform refers to the part that is not directly accessed by the user, typically responsible for storing and manipulating data. These are the various protocols, including the Particl Blockchain, that bring the Particl Ecosystem to life.
The Open Market Protocol (OMP)¶
The Open Market Protocol (OMP) is the back-end protocol that makes Particl Marketplace possible. It is the framework that defines how marketplace transactions, orders, listings, and other key e-commerce functionalities are to be processed by the SecureMessaging (SMSG) network and the Particl Blockchain. It is the “glue” that sticks everything together.
The Particl Blockchain¶
The Particl Blockchain is a decentralized, immutable, and censorship-proof ledger. It is based on the Bitcoin technology and has been carefully enhanced by the Particl team to provide a more robust level of privacy by using a combination of industry-leading privacy technologies.
The Particl Blockchain processes and validates payments between two users without requiring any third-party such as a bank or a payment processor.
The PART Coin¶
PART is the cryptocurrency of the Particl blockchain. It is a secure and confidential currency explicitly designed to power e-commerce and online marketplaces. It uses several security, encryption, and privacy protocols to make sure none of your personal information and data can be collected when transacting on the cryptocurrency.
The SecureMessaging (SMSG protocol)¶
SecureMessaging (SMSG protocol) is a decentralized storage network (DSN) to store and transfer data between nodes in a privacy-preserving manner. It enables a private and secure environment for e-commerce and communications between users.
SMSG powers the Particl Marketplace without bloating the blockchain with excessive data and without leaving any permanent record.
A new version of SMSG is scheduled to be released later on. This massive update will significantly improve the network’s scalability, performance, and reliability. This will make consumer-level adoption of Particl products possible.
The Data Storage Network (DSN)¶
Data Storage Network (DSN) is a generic term that describes a specific set of software that store and retrieve data on the internet.
The default (and for the moment, the only) DSN used on Particl is the SMSG network. It is a P2P BitMessage-like message mixnet that runs parallel to Particl’s blockchain. It is hosted on the same nodes that run the Particl blockchain.
Contrary to on-chain storage, storing data on DSN allows the platform to scale well regardless of the amount of data it uses. This form of storage works without relying on servers and without centralizing powers into masternodes.
Particl Marketplace is based on a completely trustless setup. That means that it doesn’t require participants to know or trust each other or a third-party for the platform to function.
Additionally, a trustless setup implies that no single entity has any authority or special power over the platform. Instead, actions executed by the platforms follow a rigid set of rules that are open for all to see.
In general, trustless setups, such as Particl Marketplace, require a learning curve because they operate differently from traditional, trust-based setups (i.e., eBay).
However, the benefits are many. These setups tend to be faster, more efficient, cheaper, and typically offer more privacy and security to participants and their data.
Technicals of a Buy Flow¶
When making a purchase or a sale on Particl Marketplace, the process may look simple from the outside looking in. That’s due to the platform’s user-friendly user interface (the front-end).
In reality, there’s a lot happening behind the scene (the back-end). When making a transaction on Particl Marketplace, you have to go through a few steps, each one leading to back-end actions.
Communication between the two participants, exchange of data, and the progress through transaction steps are made securely using the trustless SMSG network. The funds (payment and security deposits), on the other end, are held in an escrow smart-contract on the Particl Blockchain.
Here is an explanation of what happens, in the back-end, for each step of a marketplace transaction.
BIDDING: A buyer has an order on an item and is now waiting for the seller to accept it. At this point, the blockchain reserves the buyer’s funds (payment + security deposit) for escrow, but they are not entirely locked yet. This is referred to as “soft-locking”.
ACCEPTED: The seller has accepted the bid. The seller’s funds (security deposit) are also now soft-locked for the escrow deposit.
ESCROW: The buyer has completed the escrow deposit, meaning the funds are now fully locked. They will only be released when both participants agree to release the escrow. This step also automatically locks the seller’s funds in escrow.
PACKAGING: The seller is packaging the order and getting it ready to ship. Nothing happens on the blockchain at this point.
SHIPPING: The seller has confirmed the order as shipped. Nothing happens on the blockchain at this point.
COMPLETE: The item has been delivered. No problem was identified by the buyer, which has finalized the order. This causes funds locked in escrow to be released to each participant. The seller gets the payment for the item and his security deposit back, while the buyer only gets his security deposit back.