Feirm Weekly - 31/08 to 06/09

Posted on 7 September 2020

Feirm Marketplace

Incognito Listings

Typically, when using some sort of e-commerce solution, all listings are public. However, what about when you would like to keep a listing completely private and away from the public eye? This is a new feature that has been introduced to the Marketplace which is called Incognito. Here is a quick breakdown of what features Incognito listings have on offer:

  • All listings that make use of Incognito are End-to-End Encrypted by default. The key for each listing is generated inside the browser and attached to the listing URL. Only visitors with the correct URL are able to decrypt the Incognito listing. This essentially means that the Feirm Marketplace has zero-knowledge of the listing contents and gives us plausible deniability for any listings which make use of the Incognito feature.
  • Enhanced privacy — we only have access to a certain amount of metadata which is required to make Incognito listings work. For example, only the listing ID, listing creator, initialisation vector and the status of the listing can be seen by us. The rest of the data is encrypted and unreadable to us.
  • Simplicity— we want the Incognito feature to feel natural to users. We don’t want any complex steps to access an Incognito listing, nor do we want the user experience to change in any way.

Who is this ideal for?

As mentioned earlier, the Incognito feature is ideal for users who do not want their listings to be made public. For example, two parties might know each other in real life, but wish to trade some goods. They might be using the Feirm Marketplace to ensure that the exchange is carried out securely and smoothly by making use of the features that we offer, such as End-to-End Encrypted messaging.

It is without a doubt that this feature could be taken advantage of by cyber criminals for the selling of illicit goods. Whilst we state in the Moderation section of the Marketplace documentation about these types of listings being prohibited, we cannot enforce such rules when we have zero-knowledge of the content associated to it. In the event we were to be approached by law enforcement to hand over data, we would only be able to hand over the encrypted data which is essentially unusable to someone without the decryption key.

If we were to come into the contact with a listing and the decryption key through a user who had access to the listing, we would take the necessary action of terminating the account the listing originated from, and depending on the content of the listing, hand over the data to law enforcement if the listing poses any danger.

Ultimately though, without coming into contact with a decryption key, we have no control over the content inside an Incognito listing.

Miscellaneous Changes

23 changes were introduced to the Marketplace over the past week. Such changes include:

  • Improved handling of account pre-keys.
  • Introduction of conversations which store all messages and the relevant metadata to decrypt individual messages.
  • Improved messages page to showcase all on-going chats across the platform.
  • Added support for Incognito listings.
  • Improved pricing calculations.

World Community Grid

Payments have been made for the month of August regarding the Feirm WCG Team. A total of 1000 XFE was paid out for that month.