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Author Topic: BTCrow.com - Bitcoin Escrow Service - For safer bitcoin transactions  (Read 21188 times)
BTCrow
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June 23, 2011, 03:15:58 PM
 #1

Hi, would like to introduce my service here and make it the official thread for suggestions, comments and all related to my escrow service.

What is BTCrow:

Btcrow.com is an escrow service who protect both sellers and buyer for bitcoins only. It didn't track data such as email and other personal informations. It's simple to use and provide a resolution center in case of dispute. Buyer can release the funds when they receive goods or service and seller know that the buyer have the needed coins to pay him.

Why BTCrow:

I searched on on the web to find escrow service for bitcoin and I found 2 of them very interresting. They are simple and work great except at one level: They do not really protect the seller.

I mean that if I'm a seller and want to sell goods to a bitcoin holder, then I use current escrow service and it show me that the buyer have the funds to complete the transaction, but, the buyer still have full control over his funds, mean that he
1) Can receive the product and not release the funds (wait 30 days)
2) Can receive the product and use the holded funds to make donation to EFF etc etc

So in my opinion this is not protecting the seller cause he can loose money by sending product and not receiving a single bitcoin.

BTCrow provide a resolution center wich provide to both party the security that they will receive what promised (funds / product or service).

Let me know what you think about it.

Thanks

BTCrow

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June 23, 2011, 03:27:27 PM
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I am very curious how can you resolve the disputes if the buyer decide to cheat on seller. Whom will you trust?


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June 23, 2011, 03:32:30 PM
 #3

Feedback about first impressions/ associations.

I personally like crows, but a lot of people associate corvids with stealing. The thieving magpie and so on.
Definitely not an association you want to evoke if you want people to trust you with their money!

Perhaps you should choose a more innocuous bird to represent your brand.


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nanotube
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June 23, 2011, 03:39:27 PM
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Feedback about first impressions/ associations.

I personally like crows, but a lot of people associate corvids with stealing. The thieving magpie and so on.
Definitely not an association you want to evoke if you want people to trust you with their money!

Perhaps you should choose a more innocuous bird to represent your brand.


BTChicken ? BTCrane ? BTCackling goose?
lol yea i saw the crow too

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BTCrow
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June 23, 2011, 03:45:34 PM
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I am very curious how can you resolve the disputes if the buyer decide to cheat on seller. Whom will you trust?

When the seller accept the transaction he must have in hand a proof of the product delivery etc to make sure the buyer don't cheat on him. If this is a service he must proof that the service have been completed.

Suppose the buyer sends payment. The seller sends an empty package (but keeps the tracking number as "proof of delivery").

How will you ensure that the buyer receives the promised product?

That's a very interresting question. And I'm glad you asked. I don't know if it's like that in every countries but when you send a package for a product they will check the weight of the package and you can ask to write it in the box. Of course it still can be bypassed. With other site like ebay using paypal this still can be made, btw i'm working on this issue and if anyone have suggestion about it he's welcome Wink.

Feedback about first impressions/ associations.

I personally like crows, but a lot of people associate corvids with stealing. The thieving magpie and so on.
Definitely not an association you want to evoke if you want people to trust you with their money!

Perhaps you should choose a more innocuous bird to represent your brand.


BTChicken ? BTCrane ? BTCackling goose?

oh thanks for the suggestion I choose this name cause I was thinking it must be apropriated to use a related name. I'll think about it, thanks for the suggestion.

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June 23, 2011, 03:58:09 PM
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That's a very interresting question. And I'm glad you asked. I don't know if it's like that in every countries but when you send a package for a product they will check the weight of the package and you can ask to write it in the box. Of course it still can be bypassed. With other site like ebay using paypal this still can be made, btw i'm working on this issue and if anyone have suggestion about it he's welcome Wink.

I think an ebay-like feedback system would be the only viable way. could still be cheated but at least you have to pay escrow commission in order to fake a review.
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June 23, 2011, 04:03:13 PM
 #7

The weight of the package can be anything the seller puts on the label, doesn't prove anything.

The clearcoin way I think is currently the most superior method for escrow, I think I'd even prefer it over the paypal "seller protection". Because the more I think about it, the more I like it (even though I'm almost always the seller). There's almost no possibility of fraud for any buyer and seller.

* as a seller, you have to ship the real product in a satisfactory manner to the buyer, or else the buyer won't release the coins

* as a buyer, you have zero incentive to screw over the seller because you are not getting your money back either way, and the seller has your name and address, you wouldn't really want to piss the seller off especially if it's a big-ticket item.

* if there's a dispute over the product description/quality, then both the buyer and the seller has an incentive to resolve it fairly, because the buyer want a good/working product, the seller want to get their money, there's no incentive for either party to screw over the other party.

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BTCrow
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June 23, 2011, 04:07:18 PM
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I think an ebay-like feedback system would be the only viable way. could still be cheated but at least you have to pay escrow commission in order to fake a review.


I agree can be good to be inserted into the service, the thing I wanted to do is using a system without logging any informations such as login and password. So I'm thinking about it now.

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June 23, 2011, 04:12:44 PM
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The weight of the package can be anything the seller puts on the label, doesn't prove anything.

The clearcoin way I think is currently the most superior method for escrow, I think I'd even prefer it over the paypal "seller protection". Because the more I think about it, the more I like it (even though I'm almost always the seller). There's almost no possibility of fraud for any buyer and seller.

* as a seller, you have to ship the real product in a satisfactory manner to the buyer, or else the buyer won't release the coins

* as a buyer, you have zero incentive to screw over the seller because you are not getting your money back either way, and the seller has your name and address, you wouldn't really want to piss the seller off especially if it's a big-ticket item.

* if there's a dispute over the product description/quality, then both the buyer and the seller has an incentive to resolve it fairly, because the buyer want a good/working product, the seller want to get their money, there's no incentive for either party to screw over the other party.

And what if the buyer is not happy of what he received, and the seller say that he sent the good thing. Then the the buyer put pressure against seller to ship other things or he won't release the money. In this case even if the seller sent good item and everything is ok the buyer can still put pressure and seller won,t have any coins in his pocket.

Having another address to receive package is also possible.

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June 23, 2011, 04:14:09 PM
 #10

The weight of the package can be anything the seller puts on the label, doesn't prove anything.

For delivery services, you have to put your signature to acknowledge you received it. By doing that, you agree that you received what you expected to receive. If it is done, there is no way to complain.

That's why, when UPS/FedEx bell at your door, you should always open the box *before* signing. I did it a few times when expecting big packages which contain multiple pieces. I opened them and counted the pieces to be sure that everything was there.

If you don't agree or whatever, just don't sign the package. The service is then forced to take it back. A good way to resolve disputes would be to simply give a link to the Fedex/DHL/UPS tracking page of the package.

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June 23, 2011, 04:16:06 PM
 #11

Without published and detailed dispute resolution policies, an escrow service is useless.

Quote
That's why, when UPS/FedEx bell at your door, you should always open the box *before* signing. I did it a few times when expecting big packages which contain multiple pieces. I opened them and counted the pieces to be sure that everything was there.
That's completely useless and borderline crazy, in my opinion. Say you buy a diamond ring from me. I ship it to you. You open the package, palm the ring, tell the FedEx guy the package was empty and ask him to take the package back.

The escrow service shouldn't give a damn whether you signed for the package or not. They can check with FedEx and see that they tried to deliver it and you refused it. That's your problem, not mine. I can't force you to accept it. I sent it. I did my part. For all I, and the escrow service know, you received it. (And in my example where you palm the ring, you did in fact receive it).

I get that your example is with big packages and multiple pieces, but the point is the same. Say you remove a large piece and the FedEx guy doesn't catch it. (That's not his job.) The principle is precisely the same.

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BTCrow
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June 23, 2011, 04:18:48 PM
 #12

Without published and detailed dispute resolution policies, an escrow service is useless.

I'm working on it, as a beta I really appreciate all comments / suggestions.

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June 23, 2011, 04:46:28 PM
 #13

I get that your example is with big packages and multiple pieces, but the point is the same. Say you remove a large piece and the FedEx guy doesn't catch it. (That's not his job.) The principle is precisely the same.

It is his job. If you refuse a package, for whatever reason, it will be sent back to the sender. Which means that the transaction has been cancelled.

This is how it works and this is partly why such services are so expensive. As long as you didn't signed the receipt, they are responsible of the package.

Of course, it is always possible to cheat. But your example of stealing the diamond in front of the guy is just the same as shoplifting.

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June 23, 2011, 04:56:10 PM
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I get that your example is with big packages and multiple pieces, but the point is the same. Say you remove a large piece and the FedEx guy doesn't catch it. (That's not his job.) The principle is precisely the same.

It is his job. If you refuse a package, for whatever reason, it will be sent back to the sender. Which means that the transaction has been cancelled.
First, it's not his job to watch you open the package and make sure you don't remove an expensive item. And no, the transaction hasn't been cancelled.

Quote
This is how it works and this is partly why such services are so expensive. As long as you didn't signed the receipt, they are responsible of the package.
They are responsible for returning the package, but not responsible for making sure you didn't tamper with it. There is, in practice, no way they can do this anyway.

Quote
Of course, it is always possible to cheat. But your example of stealing the diamond in front of the guy is just the same as shoplifting.
Exactly. So this does not protect against cheating. So what is its purpose?

The escrow company, if they're reputable, will not take your word that you didn't remove the item when you refused the package. You agreed to accept the package when you entered into the transaction. If the escrow agency can't confirm you had good cause to refuse the package (and they can't) why should they assume you did?

An escrow agency cannot take one party's word over the other when they have competing but equally plausible stories. If I say "I shipped him the item, he refused it, and I got back an empty box" and you say "He sent me an empty box, so I refused it", the escrow agency cannot take your word over mine.

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June 24, 2011, 09:59:52 PM
 #15

The weight of the package can be anything the seller puts on the label, doesn't prove anything.

The clearcoin way I think iswas currently the most superior method for escrow,

There, fixed that for you.

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June 24, 2011, 10:32:23 PM
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Well it seems a good escrow service is needed more than ever now.

My experience with clearcoin was that the seller was unwilling to send the product after I suggested clearcoin. He was a poster without a lot of posts and I wasn't about to trust $600 worth of bitcoin to someone I didnt know. Although clearcoin was good it did favor the buyer. As the buyer I could very easily cheat a seller and then have the added bonus of contributing to a charity to counteract all the bad Karma I just did! My bitcoin would go twice as far that way! I'm not sure there is an easy way to solve that though. Maybe I just should have asked for a valid tracking number.

Something that would be a great addendum service is using a re-shipper for a fee along with your escrow. That way it isn't up to the buyer to verify receipt. A trusted third party verification seems to me well worth whatever fees were involved.

The #bitcoin-otc web of trust is nice but you basically have to be involved in a lot of high risk small transactions to build that reputation it seems. I personally prefer to do my trading on an exchange, although I am glad it is there for us all. The reputation system though is what makes it really unique. It also is anonymous.

I think you could very easily allow people to login anonymously in a similar fashion with GPG verification if they wish to, or if that is too technical (which for me it was very confusing) then they can log in with an email and password verification. Every undisputed transaction should reward the person a few points of trust rating, disputed but resolved transactions be listed as well as disputed unresolved transactions.

Seeing someone rated on an escrow service would certainly do a lot to instill trust.
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June 24, 2011, 10:53:27 PM
 #17

Why not make a service that has the Buyer send Bitcoins to the Escrow and Seller send Product to the Escrow. The Seller would also have to include his Wallet Address and Description of whats being shipped. And the Buyer would provide the End Shipping Address. Once the Escrow receives and confirms both, he ships the package to the Buyer and releases funds to the Seller.

Advantage-
-As long as the Escrow is trustworthy, this system takes into account the empty box situation

Disadvantage-
-Service costs more
-Longer shipping time
-More work on the escrows

If anything you can use this type of service for more secure transactions. And also offer the quick transaction for people who rather have less security.

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June 25, 2011, 02:54:16 PM
 #18

Well it seems a good escrow service is needed more than ever now.

My experience with clearcoin was that the seller was unwilling to send the product after I suggested clearcoin. He was a poster without a lot of posts and I wasn't about to trust $600 worth of bitcoin to someone I didnt know. Although clearcoin was good it did favor the buyer. As the buyer I could very easily cheat a seller and then have the added bonus of contributing to a charity to counteract all the bad Karma I just did! My bitcoin would go twice as far that way! I'm not sure there is an easy way to solve that though. Maybe I just should have asked for a valid tracking number.

Something that would be a great addendum service is using a re-shipper for a fee along with your escrow. That way it isn't up to the buyer to verify receipt. A trusted third party verification seems to me well worth whatever fees were involved.

The #bitcoin-otc web of trust is nice but you basically have to be involved in a lot of high risk small transactions to build that reputation it seems. I personally prefer to do my trading on an exchange, although I am glad it is there for us all. The reputation system though is what makes it really unique. It also is anonymous.

I think you could very easily allow people to login anonymously in a similar fashion with GPG verification if they wish to, or if that is too technical (which for me it was very confusing) then they can log in with an email and password verification. Every undisputed transaction should reward the person a few points of trust rating, disputed but resolved transactions be listed as well as disputed unresolved transactions.

Seeing someone rated on an escrow service would certainly do a lot to instill trust.

In fact this is exactly why I started this escrow service, I believe that both buyers and sellers need to be secured and protected against each others.

I'm currently thinking about the trust "feedback" for escrow users. But the point is I want to keep it anonymous without email or anything related to the real person behind account. I'll probably use certificate such as Webmoney does for loging into account. (that's easy for people who don't know technical stuff and it's great for login security).

Why not make a service that has the Buyer send Bitcoins to the Escrow and Seller send Product to the Escrow. The Seller would also have to include his Wallet Address and Description of whats being shipped. And the Buyer would provide the End Shipping Address. Once the Escrow receives and confirms both, he ships the package to the Buyer and releases funds to the Seller.

Advantage-
-As long as the Escrow is trustworthy, this system takes into account the empty box situation

Disadvantage-
-Service costs more
-Longer shipping time
-More work on the escrows

If anything you can use this type of service for more secure transactions. And also offer the quick transaction for people who rather have less security.


This is an awesome solution for what people fear when using escrow. The point is yes it will involve more job and of course probably hiring more people to ship and receive packages. The bad point of this is I don't want to receive drugs and other illegal goods into my country, so if someone sell something illegal and it's intercepted to duty, then I don't want my escrow take the blame. So this can be great or not, I'm thinking about it.

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June 25, 2011, 03:03:42 PM
 #19

Oh also wanted to told everyone, I just made a server switch and didn't configured the email info[AT]btcrow.com

If you have questions during the email migration you can reach me on this thread / by PM or with my nym on hushmail: btcrow[AT]nym.hush.com

[EDIT] I'm also available for online chat at AIM: NsoftDev

Also as a beta if you have any problems just let me know it will be a pleasure to help you durring the process.

Thanks

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June 25, 2011, 03:10:49 PM
 #20

The bad point of this is I don't want to receive drugs and other illegal goods into my country, so if someone sell something illegal and it's intercepted to duty, then I don't want my escrow take the blame. So this can be great or not, I'm thinking about it.

Maybe saying something about it in the terms or service could make people refrain from it. Like "If goods are found to be illegal, they will be reported to the authorities".

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