What is OpenBazaar?
OpenBaazar is a free and open marketplace for the digital age… No fees, no restrictions, No middlemen.
OpenBazaar is most important thing to happen to Bitcoin (Since the Silk Road)
Yes, the Silk Road was used to buy and sell drugs, let’s get that distraction out of the way. The vital aspect to recognize is that it was an independently run marketplace. It was a true free-market where people could list anything! A “libertarian dream”, regardless of the postings legality illegal in various jurisdictions, the attention brought to Bitcoin was innumerable. We would consider it the intrusion of Bitcoin into mainstream media. After all, any publicity is good publicity.
With sites like Amazon and Ebay holding money ransom from sellers, OpenBazaar will redefine the e-commerce market.
OpenBazaar is designed to be one of the first widely released decentralized marketplaces in history. After receiving over a million dollars from prominent investors. This proves the concept has serious backers such as Union Square Ventures (USV) and Andreessen Horowitz. These people are enthralled by the benefits of decentralized software, economies, and the such. With promises of no fees and the ultimate security, it will be difficult ot live up to expectations. Especially since the complex project has been in development since 2014.
“USV is excited to support and help OpenBazaar and OB1 realize their vision of delivering a free and open marketplace protocol that ushers in a new era of peer to peer global commerce.”
Advantages of Decentralized Marketplaces
Simply put, Bitcoin is decentralized, so it makes sense for a market to operate in a similar fashion.
No centralized reliance
Let’s say someone relies on Ebay for their income, but their account becomes compromised or Ebay goes bankrupt out of nowhere. This guy would hypothetically loose all his reputation, listings, and source of income. This is due to Ebay’s centralized nature, if the center is compromised then all clients loose out. A decentralized exchange relies on a network of nodes, where no one node is reliant upon another.
That’s right, no fees at all. Why? Because it’s decentralized and each member, in theory acts to maintain the network. If there would be fees, they would be distributed dependent on work contributed, like pooled Bitcoin mining.
No post limitations
As much as I know the internet is a wonderful place to access information, knowledge and cultures form around the world, there’s a tremendous amount of shady material on it. OpenBazaar will not impose limitations on what can be posted, meaning that it illegal items will be up for purchase on it. It’s hard for me to believe that their will be no restrictions, as the Silk Road had restrictions on what could be listed there.
Disadvantages of Decentralized Marketplaces
Prone to Government Scrutiny
Due to it’s controversial benefits, it seems like the government will be keeping a close eye. This is nothing new. as NARCs have been going increasingly more involved with online markets. Simply put, the website will get attention from those looking to abuse the site, and those looking to catch wrong-doers.
Will OpenBazaar users be able to sell drugs and weapons?
We are quite excited about decentralized technologies. OpenBazaar will attract some serious attention because of its principals. Coindesk goes so far to say that “Online Drug Buyers: Your Problems Are Solved”. It will exciting to some people for those reasons. For us it’s more exciting that people will be paid directly instead of Ebay’s method of holding seller’s money hostage, then taking fees after giving it back. We’ll see what happens after launch.
When is OpenBazaar open to the Public?
OpenBazaar is currently is closed beta with an expected public launch in the first quarter of 2016. How this affects the Bitcoin ecosystem will range. Proponents of both sides will be arguing their points. Unlike centralized markets such as the SIlk Road, it would be theoretically impossible to shutdown OpenBazaar. The only way I could think of doing so would be the governments blocking access to it through ISPs. That alone is a scary proposition, just because bad things exist, doesn’t mean they should be restricted access. As OpenBazaar’s release date looms in the not-so-far distance, get ready for the storm, it’s going to be quite a launch!