I agree with everything Inaba has said. As a buyer I would not trust a donation escrow, as I am out bitcoins whether transaction goes through or not.
. Heatware should be implemented in every transaction. There is always going to be risk in any transaction, yes an escrow can try to fully account for all angles but I imagine the fee will be hefty. The whole benefit of bitcoins is the no transaction fee, no disputations, the anonymity of it all. Escrow service for bitcoin trading is a good idea but I would run from donation type escrow services(I need to be assured that if the deal goes south, I can get my bitcoins back). Till then, I will only deal with someone with some reputable
(Linked my limited heat).
Do NOT use donation escrow services. These are the stupidest idea I've ever seen implemented in an escrow service.
Escrow is meant to protect both parties. An escrow service that protects only one party is effectively not really an escrow service, and an "escrow" service that sends the money to a "donation" in the event of a default is just asking for all sorts of trouble. I would never, ever, ever agree to a donation escrow as a buyer. Donation escrows are only harmful to the process, they do not provide any benefit. There is no risk to the scammer by using donation escrow or not using it - either way they won't get the money, but if they do use it, at the very least they can use it to fuck you so you don't get your money back in the event of a default. On top of that, they can also be used as a harassment tool even if someone isn't a scammer in the sense of them trying to take your money.
An escrow service requires an arbitration process. Any escrow service without an arbitration process is nothing more than "Hey Bob, will you hold my wad of cash for a few days?" And you don't know Bob. And Bob might give your money to the Red Cross if the seller tells him to.
As far as feedback/ratings go, there's already a site, it's called HEATWARE. I use it on here as well as other forums. It should be the standard for here, just like it is at so many other For Sale forums around the world.
Donation style escrow is more like paying 80 cents for insurance at the post office than a full service escrow.
It's nothing like 80 cents for insurance at the post office. It's not even kind of like it. It's not even vaguely related to it. See the rest of my post below:
kokojie & kgo:
I am finding it really difficult to believe you two are so deluded or naive to think that people won't do stuff to fuck with other people just for the hell of it (or for the lulz as the case may be). Just because you've annoyed me in this post, I am going to create a fake account and sell you something through a donation escrow when you least expect it.
No, actually in my experience, donation escrow is perfect. With arbitration type escrow, the buyer can choose to screw the seller and claim the item is no good, and get money back. Also, for digital goods, there's no way for seller to prove he has delivered the item. Also fraudulent sellers can just ship empty box to the buyer with tracking number to fool arbitration (I have seen this fraud on ebay/paypal many times, but ebay has a reputation system to keep this low).
Your experience must be exceptionally limited then. There is nothing good about a donation escrow. It's a bastardization of the escrow process that screws all parties. I also have serious questions as to whether or not a given escrow service would even send the money to the donation service listed, but that's another discussion entirely. There is nothing a donation escrow service offers that is of value to anyone except the escrow operator. In a defaulted situation, if the money doesn't go back to the seller, the whole transaction is pointless; The seller is out their goods and the buyer is out their money. Yes, the buyer might get the dubious "satisfaction" of knowing that the seller does not get any money, but this fallacy comes at the cost of allowing literally anyone to screw with any seller at any time with no reprecussions at all. Again, if you are of the belief that people won't do that just for the hell of it and especially to exact some sort of revenge on someone, you are deluding yourselves.
Basically, if there's arbitration, there will be incentive for both buyer and seller to get creative and screw over the other guy. With donation escrow, there is no such thing. Seller has zero incentive to screw over the buyer as if the buyer is unhappy, seller does not get any money. Buyer also has zero incentive to screw over the seller, as buyer not getting money back either way, and he'd be really stupid to intentionally piss off someone that knows his name and address.
And this braindead donation escrow eliminates this how? It doesn't, it just provides yet MORE opportunity to get creative to screw over someone with zero reprecussions. Not only does it not solve a problem, it creates another one in the process. The buyer could have every reason to screw over the seller - there is not "zero" reason.
There's no risk to a scammer without a donation escrow anyway, since pretty much by definition they have nothing to lose. What the escrow service does is remove the incentive to scam somebody, not remove the non-existant risk to the scammer. The scammer has no reason to invest time setting up a con because the net return is a negative. They use a resource, their time, and if there's no possible way to profit, they've lost out. Hence they'll move on to the next potential victim, or try to pester you into not using escrow for some BS reason, and give up when you refuse to budge.
I agree, there is no risk to the scammer without an escrow service. There is also no risk to the scammer WITH a donation escrow service. The donation escrow service adds NOTHING to the process and adds one additional avenue of harassment. That was my original point - it doesn't add anything except more problems. A monetary return is not always the incentive or goal of a scammer/harassment/forthelulz person.
No. The person who gives the cash to Bob determines if it goes to the Red Cross. The more comparable scenario is giving money to Bob, and saying, "If you don't here from me in a few days, burn that money, flush it down the toilet, but whatever you do, don't give it to that jackass." The seller can not force a charity release and somehow steal my money.
Now you are contradicting yourself. Either a donation escrow service enforces the "if in default, it goes to charity" or it does not. If it does not, it doesn't fulfill it's design parameters. If it does, then the buyer can easily force it by reporting it in default. Your scenario is nothing like an escrow donation service. Escrow donation is literally "Hey Bob, hold my money. If you hear ANYTHING but 'Give him this money', throw it away and burn it." So then Jim can say "Hey Bob, fuck off." and poof there goes your money. That's the fallacy and ridiculousness of escrow donation. Donation can be forced (by either party, but more importantly by the person buying) putting the control of the transaction in the buyer's hands when it should be in neither hands - that is the point of escrow.
The number of people who would just do that to be an a-hole are far less than the number of scammers out there.
Also, if the deal falls apart for legitimate reasons, and both people are on the same side, you can recover your bitcoins safely. This is covered in my FAQ.
Far more than you are apparently aware of.
As far as your second sentence in that quote, then you are arbitrating at that point and your arguments for a donation escrow fall completely apart (which they were already in shreds to begin with). If the deal can be reversed due to certain conditions, then that is a form of arbitration. Crude and rudimentary, but none the less that's what it is.
I don't understand how a donation based escrow could be used as a harassment tool. The only thing I could think is that someone can keep on bugging you to release the coins. But they could do the same thing without the escrow service, by bugging you to send coins. Could you elaborate?
Really? You can't imagine this scenario off the top of your head:
You've annoyed me somehow or I just pick you at random to fuck with. I setup a fake account and offer to sell something I know you'll be interested in at an attractive price. I deny all other offers privately and offer to sell to you for 25 BTC but I demand that you use an escrow service... but to show I'm magnanimous I offer to let you use the donation based escrow. I tell you "Hey, to prove I'm not a scammer you can set it to donation so I won't get anything if I screw you." You think "Hey, that's cool, here Mr. Donation Escrow, is my hard earned 25 BTC."
Now you're out 25 BTC and I dislike you because you've annoyed me. I have to do nothing further. I just cost you 25 BTC and have to do nothing but create a fake account and offer a product at an attractive price.
Now expand this scenario with someone how wants to fuck with a group of people... instead of taking just your offer, I can take several offers and screw 3 or 4 or more people out of their money, thereby undermining confidence in BTC. All because there's a donation based escrow.
For a scammer to spend the time to write up the sale, risk being caught, and also might have to spend some time develop a seemingly reputable account, and then after all that get ZERO profit, the scammer has to be a extremely stupid scammer that likes to waste time.
In my opinion, it's not at all likely. Most people don't have an incentive to screw you over in this situation. Yes, there might be a crazy person or a sicko who gets some thrill by doing so, or some wacko who convinces himself somehow you cheated him and wants to get revenge, but the likelihood of dealing with one of these people is much, much lower than the likelihood of dealing with a scammer. At least in my opinion.
I have two words for you: 4chan - /b/
And that's just one example.
I was, of course, lying at the top of the post about creating a fake account to sell you something. Or was I? You will never know and now you'll question every transaction you make through a donation escrow because it MIGHT be me just fucking with you because you've annoyed me. You'll eventually be lulled into a false sense of security when nothing happens in the next month or two, but then BAM. Or maybe it'll happen on your next transaction. Am I serious?