OpenBazaar is a decentralized and peer-to-peer marketplace similar to eBay and Amazon. Users of OpenBazaar are connected directly to each other, without the need for a centralized server. To the appeal of many, the service charges zero fees and has no listing restrictions. Surprisingly, up to this point, there has not been much illicit activity on the market. The open-source nature of the project allows anyone to view the code and contribute to the project.
The base of the platform called “DarkMarket” was created by a Bitcoin enthusiast by the name of Amir Taaki and was later forked by Brian Hoffman and renamed OpenBazaar. The service launched on April 4th of last year and has since acquired over $4 million in investments. The sound of praises rung out on Valentine’s Day when the development team released the code for integration with Tor.
While some may see the new Tor support as welcoming illicit activity, others see it as a step forward in personal freedom. The new feature allows users to connect to the OpenBazaar network and host a market without government agencies being able to see one’s IP address.
Per a statement at Miami’s North American Bitcoin Conference in January by Hoffman, OpenBazaar is slated for a 2.0 release of the platform this year. Version 2.0 is said to include private offerings, a better search tool, and much more.