- OpenBazaar first launched in 2014, under the name “DarkMarket”, but changed its name in response to community feedback.
- It was hailed as a decentralized alternative to e-commerce platform eBay.
The decentralized marketplace OpenBazaar is poised for a resurgence, having been shut down in 2020 due to financial difficulties and lack of user adoption. Various social media and GitHub updates indicate that the marketplace is being rebuilt, with a git repository demonstrating progress as recent;y as April 12. The OpenBazaar website presently displays the message “openbazaar 3.0 coming soon”, further indicating that the marketplace is likely to be relaunched.
Brian Hoffman, the former project lead at the company and CEO of peer-to-peer trading platform OB1, tweeted about the progress made on a “new” version of the marketplace on April 9, noting that it is “getting more interesting by the day” In response to questions about what would make this iteration of the marketplace different from the last time. He also spoke of “freedom of exploration” and implied the external factors had contributed to its previous collapse.
OpenBazaar 3.0 Is Coming Soon!
The marketplace was shut down three years ago, due to lack of funding. The decentralized marketplace allowed users to buy and sell a variety of goods, from homemade candles to medicine, using Bitcoin. Brian confirmed that the company is rebuilding the platform, which is also supported by social media updates. The platform allowed users to directly interact with each other to make transactions without any intermediary.
Following the shutdown, Openbazaar’s founders hinted that structural changes would be needed to further place control of the marketplace in the hands of the community. Brian also hinted on Twitter that the future of OpenBazaar would involve greater independence from OB1. A deposit on the collaborative software development site GitHub indicates progress as recent as 12th of April, towards the development of a new version of the marketplace.
Brian has been actively working on a new implementation of the platform in Rust, a popular programming language in the Bitcoin community, as seen on his GitHub account. OpenBazaar’s co-founder, Washington Sanchez, described the platform’s purpose in 2018 as providing a free and open protocol for cryptocurrency trading, enabling currencies and tokens to have a meaningful economic utility in acquiring goods and services.
Unlike centralized online marketplace platforms like Amazon or Etsy, OpenBazaar allows users to buy and sell goods without a central authority, providing greater freedom to its users. The platform is known for its unique decentralized approach and had initially thrived. In an interview with CoinDesk in 2018, W. Sanchez described the platform as a “free and open protocol for trading cryptocurrencies, allowing tokens to earn economic utility.