OpenBazaar is an online marketplace where users can trade goods through the medium of Bitcoin. First launched in 2014, the startup company has now released it’s version 2.0 of its growing e-commerce platform.
The new update is aimed at improving user-interface. In an interview with Coindesk, CEO Brian Hoffman said:
We found very quickly that doing things in a decentralized fashion is not always super intuitive for people. You have to to design around it. You have to make it really really good.
The company’s focus is very much on improving the utility of their site moving forward. There are plans to release mobile and web versions of the app and allow trading through other crypto-currencies.
OpenBazaar has the potential to be the crypto-Amazon.
The company boasts advantages of its platform such as no transaction fees, no monthly fees, no listing fees, and no need for a middle-man (peer to peer transactions). And these benefits apply both when shopping domestically and internationally.
There are currently 10,000 online listings from 300 vendors been downloaded more than 400,000 times. According to Hoffman, the company has received $4 million in investment from firms including Union Square Ventures and Andreesen Horowitz.
A controversial aspect of the new update is the integration of the anonymity software Tor, which allows users to browse the market’s network anonymously or list items for sale from an untraceable location.
This could spawn the creation of a new Silk Road however the executive isn’t worried too much as most of the illegal products found of the marketplace are relatively harmless such as Cuban cigars and fireworks.
In the end, OpenBazaar hopes to be a mainstream e-marketplace for people looking for private, uncensorable online trade.