Preview: Josh Rossi’s “Satoshi Square” Web app gets ready for prime time

At the first Satoshi Square open-air Bitcoin marketplace event, Josh Rossi, the man who was the original presenter of the idea at the 6th weekly BitcoinNYC meetup, mentioned that he had been exploring the development of an application that could be used for any parties interested in buying and/or selling Bitcoins in this setting.  Unfortunately, with just a few days between his proposing the event at the meetup and the Monday afternoon when the event was to happen, there was not sufficient time for him to come up with something usable.  As a result, the small group of buyers and sellers had to vocally pitch their numbers to the crowd.  It worked but it was hardly ideal.

However, time – and Josh’s progress – marched onwards.

On Friday night, Spelunkin was given a preview tour of his application at NYC’s only Bitcoin-accepting bar, EVR and we have to say, it is shaping up well for a one-man side project barely a week old.  Instead of worrying about cross-platform development, Josh has gone with a web app that should be usable by all modern smartphones, tablets, and laptops.  The one instance being worked on can be seen here.

The idea is fairly simple – everyone involved in the open air market will log in to the app.  Then depending on if they are selling or buying, they can go to the Bids or Asks section of the site.  As shown in the sample bid below, the user just has to fill in three simple blanks – username (Josh says this may soon be replaced by a Facebook picture once he completes the requisite integration), a price, and a quantity.  Then hit Submit and the Bid will shortly appear on the screens of everyone who is also on the site.  Anyone who wishes to take the bidder up on the dead may exclaim so or rush to them and settle the matter independently.  Once the deal seems to be a go, the bidder can then cancel the posting quickly by hitting the red X to the left of the bid.

Setting up a bid order with the Satoshi Square web application.

Setting up a bid order with the Satoshi Square web application.

Determined to assist in Bitcoin propagation, Josh says he will soon be making this web app available in some way – either directly hosted at btcshares or through some other arrangement – so that multiple local Bitcoin exchanges could operate much like the “Satoshi Square” event in NYC.  Once exchanges become commonplace, the barrier to entry for most consumers will be lowered as they will be able to buy and sell Bitcoins without having to go through an exchange or through a (possibly sketchy) one-on-one type of meeting offered by LocalBitcoins service.  Further, he imagines second iteration uses for his tool – for example, letting two or more people in different cities who already trust each engage in a small scale arbitrage system whereby they could take advantage of any local price differentials across multiple open markets that are happening simultaneously.   Or perhaps highly-trusted individuals could participate in exchanges happening anywhere in the world.

Josh expects that his Satoshi Square app will be available for trial use at the upcoming Satoshi Square trading session to be held at Union Square on Monday, May 13th as well as for the first Friday event, scheduled to happen on Friday, May 17th.  Josh’s stated goal is to have open-air Bitcoin markets become a daily occurrence in New York City and other cities as well and his application may just be one of the key tools necessary for that to happen.

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