On Monday, OB1, the development team who created the crypto-infused marketplace Openbazaar, launched a new platform called Haven. The application is a mobile version of the Openbazaar marketplace, but also includes social media, end-to-end encrypted messaging, and noncustodial wallet services for a variety of digital assets. The following is a review of the Haven application after experimenting with the mobile crypto marketplace first-hand before the public launch.
OB1 Launches the Mobile Platform Haven Privacy
The cryptocurrency firm OB1 has launched its second product called Haven, which gives users the ability to access the decentralized Openbazaar network from a smartphone. In addition to the market, the developers have integrated a social media platform that’s similar to Twitter, noncustodial crypto wallets, and encrypted chat. The goal of Haven is to “keep your data and your financial information safe when you shop, chat, and send cryptocurrencies — Using this one-of-a-kind peer-to-peer network means no middlemen or big companies, which means no tracking and no fees,” OB1 explained during the launch.
The application offers pretty much everything the desktop node version of Openbazaar offers, but it does not allow people to trade digital assets. Currently, the platform supports BCH, ZEC, LTC, and BTC and the company has been questioning the public as to whether ethereum should be added. The new mobile application offers four unique characteristics:
- Private shopping.
- Private messaging.
- Native multi-wallet.
- Social media.
News.Bitcoin.com got access to the Haven application on June 15, so we could test the platform and give our readers the ins and outs of the crypto-based mobile marketplace. Haven is available for Android and iOS and takes about 60MB of space on your mobile phone. In order to start an account, the app asks you for a name which is optional, where you are based, the currency you want to be displayed on the platform, and the optional approval of sharing anonymous analytics with OB1.
After that information is complete and a quick user agreement is checked, the Haven application is ready to be used. The first thing you probably want to do is secure your account by backing up the backup phrase and editing your profile page. The Haven backup process is the same as writing down a mnemonic seed phrase for a traditional wallet. After writing down the backup, you can proceed to start editing your profile.
Like Twitter, the Haven platform is a social media app and you can edit your profile adding a profile picture, cover photo, and a description about yourself in the settings. If you happen to be a vendor, you can highlight your store information as well. Haven allows you to post 280 characters of text, pictures, and URL links as well. The posts are uploaded to a public feed that is divided into “most recent” and “trending.” You can like a person’s post, repost it (similar to retweet), airdrop the post’s link, or respond to it with your own message. Since Haven had a head start in beta testing before the public launch, there’s a bunch of users posting on the platform regularly. The profile section itself gives you an overview so you can toggle actions and services like the multi-wallet, a wishlist, notifications for the store and social media, purchase, sales transaction history, and support.
The shopping section is quite large for people who want to spend cryptocurrencies on unique items. You can access this section by tapping the shopping cart at the bottom left of the screen. The marketplace is broken down into categories like electronics, books, games, apparel, sports, vehicles, media, beverages, health and beauty, and a general section that aggregates everything.
If you choose to view a product being sold on Haven, it will show the picture and the seller’s description of the item alongside reviews if there are any. Some Haven sellers have different terms and conditions and return policies. Perusing the platform also shows a great majority of Haven vendors accept all four digital assets, while other dealers accept only one or a few. On top of the general market page, there are featured items shown and highlighted discounts.
The Haven platform also offers an end-to-end encrypted messaging service, which allows you to chat in private with vendors and basically anyone using the application. This means the Haven messenger service encrypts communications so the information can never be seen by third parties including OB1. Two people on Haven could communicate with each other in a private fashion, while the plain text information transmitted is purposely obfuscated.
To access the encrypted chat service on Haven, just tap the caption bubble to message someone or press the “message” tab on the user’s profile page. If issues arise between two people, it is possible to report the user and block them so they cannot contact you using the platform.
Overall the application works well and using the Haven platform interface is fairly intuitive. People can find the application on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. The biggest downside is that Haven has got a long way to go to catch up with the social media incumbents, but Haven’s privacy is a novel change that people have been asking for. The social media aspect tied to a built-in crypto marketplace may be enticing to digital currency veterans and newcomers alike. Additionally, privacy proponents will enjoy the platform’s isolated shopping experience and encrypted chat options.
What do you think about the Haven platform designed by the OB1 team? Have you tried this application yet? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the mentioned companies, software or any of the affiliates, vendors or services. Bitcoin.com or the author is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. This editorial review is for informational purposes only.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Haven Privacy, Jamie Redman, Bitcoin.com, and Twitter.
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