A New York startup wants to take on Craigslist and eBay for local trading, encouraging its buyers and sellers to use bitcoin as much as possible.
Corkket.com has chosen to focus on the hyper-local market, its interface directing users towards deals in their own neighborhoods first. It will also provide an escrow service for more trustworthy payments and promises full refunds to buyers who change their minds.
To promote its bitcoin-focused approach, the company is launching its beta service with a ‘Bitcoin Picnic‘ in New York City’s Union Square for seven hours on Saturday 26th April.
The event promises bitcoin-accepting food trucks and live music, plus a free giveaway of 1-millibit QR code tickets that can be redeemed on Corkket’s site. Two of the first 1,000 people to sign up will receive a full 1 BTC prize.
Simple and safe
Co-founded by Yale graduates Tom Tang, YJ Dang, and Angel Beale, Corkket describes itself as “more local than eBay, more trustworthy than Craigslist” and claims it’s the first local online person-to-person marketplace with fully integrated bitcoin payment processing.
The system is based on escrow where Corkket holds the funds until both parties are satisfied with the deal.
“We believe in making person-to-person local commerce easy, safe, and fast for everyday people,” said Beale, adding:
“As longtime bitcoin enthusiasts, we know bitcoin is ideally suited as a payment method for privacy and security-conscious users.”
Each bitcoin transaction has a custom-generated address and upon receiving funds, Corkket emails a QR code to the buyer, who prints it out and exchanges it for the goods being purchased. The seller then scans the QR code and gets paid.
As well as protecting sellers from chargebacks or disputed payments, it also means people don’t have to visit complete strangers’ homes carrying credit cards or large amounts of cash.
“The inspiration came mainly from Craigslist’s lack of inspiration. But just as important, we wanted to give the bitcoin community a way to participate in local commerce.”
Tang even refers to himself on Corkket’s Twitter page as a ‘Bitcoin Zealot’.
Users can also transact with US dollars, though Corkket appears to be promoting bitcoin’s use foremost. The site also tries to keep business as close and local as possible – once you tell it your physical location, Corkket looks for deals first in your own building, then your block, and lastly your city – so it may end up saving you time and money on transport too.
Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as an endorsement of any of the companies mentioned. Please do your own extensive research before considering investing any funds in these products.