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Author Topic: Introducing Acrimonious! - the bitcoin escrow checkout  (Read 3219 times)
acrimonious
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September 02, 2011, 05:26:36 PM
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The Acrimonious! escrow checkout is now available at:

http://r2urixpmy5svvfgd.onion
and
https://r2urixpmy5svvfgd.tor2web.org

Using the service can be as simple as creating a link like this (try it for a demonstration):
https://r2urixpmy5svvfgd.tor2web.org/checkout.php?to=username&amount=4&deposit=1&return=http://mysite.com

There is a seller integration guide and a tool for creating PayPal-style "Buy Now" buttons for your website.

The service introduces deposits to provide extra assurances to the buyer and seller that they are unlikely to unjustly lose their money. It's free for buyers and sellers who don't get into disputes (excluding bitcoin transaction fees), and will hopefully remain free for those people.

The transaction process works as follows:

- The seller sends the buyer to the Acrimonious! escrow checkout
- The buyer is asked to pay the payment amount + a deposit specified by the seller, and is then returned to the seller's website
- The seller checks to see that the money has arrived at the escrow bitcoin address and then ships the products
- The buyer can either release the money to the seller or request a refund
- If the buyer releases the money, the buyer's deposit is returned, and the seller receives the full payment with no transaction fees taken from it
- If the buyer requests a refund and the seller grants the refund, then the buyer gets the refund and gets the deposit back
- If the seller doesn't respond to the refund request, the buyer is given the money after a week (and the seller loses his deposit)
- If the seller denies the refund request, the buyer can withdraw the refund request or maintain it
- If the refund request is denied and never withdrawn, then the principal payment amount is lost to the bitcoin faucet and the deposits go to the running of Acrimonious!

Hence Acrimonious! runs on acrimony, namely the disputes where both parties are willing to suffer a financial loss to prevent each other from getting the main payment.

The introduction of deposits into the process provides a reassurance to the participants that those who repeatedly get into acrimonious disputes will suffer a constant financial drain (through repeated loss of deposits). This means that the people you'll find using Acrimonious! are more likely to leave you satisfied with your transaction.

If you're a buyer, then you know that a bad seller who consistently ships unsatisfactory goods or no goods at all will suffer a continual financial loss. As a seller, you know that the buyers will be likely to quickly release the payments to you so that they can get their deposits back.

We hope this this will reduce the remaining anxiety which one still encounters when using a charity bitcoin escrow service, namely the fear that the person you end up dealing with will turn out to be a jerk who causes you to lose your money. With Acrimonious!, being a jerk means always losing money. Jerks can't survive for long.

Sellers can add QR codes to the invoices that they include with their shipments so that buyers with smartphones can quickly release the payments when the shipment arrives. Sellers can choose to receive signed http notifications when the status of any transaction changes, and they can sign their requests sent to the checkout, so that buyers can't alter them.

It runs as a tor hidden service at a .onion address, but is intended to be compatible with tor2web so that anyone can use it. Unfortunately this means that accessing it can be slow.

Feedback and bug reports are very welcome in this thread or on the website.
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