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OpenBazaar: The Decentralized Marketplace

Published on April 19th, 2016 by ahmadmanga

Earlier this month, one of the most anticipated Bitcoin services was released.

Openbazaar is a decentralized marketplace where anyone can open their own shop and sell anything for Bitcoin, without middlemen or fees.

The Bitcoin Answer to eBay and Amazon

To use OpenBazaar, you have to download the program from the official website. Anyone can open their own store and make their own listing. The data is hosted by the store itself, and not replicated anywhere else.

OpenBazaar was developed with the aim of being an uncensored marketplace that competes with major retailers like Amazon and eBay. It uses Bitcoin, making transactions quicker and cheaper (with fewer fees) than competitors.

Current Limitations

That said, Openbazaar still has limitations to overcome. A store must be online for users to see it and purchase from it. If you host the store on your own computer, then your computer must always be online. The moment it goes offline, the store goes offline too. It's designed that way, as it won't be peer-to-peer otherwise.

Of course, there are ways to get around this, such as using VPS, for example.

Offline stores aren't the only issue, but the OpenBazaar team is working hard on solving limitations.

BazaarBay, the OpenBazaar Search Engine

Another problem encountered with OpenBazaar is their search service. It can only search through nodes that are online at the time, and it searches only among listing names and tags.

In comes BazaarBay, a third-party website that shows all listings and searches them easily, providing data on each item and seller, including how much time passed since a store was last online.

Bitcoin's Killer App

Many people call Openbazaar the killer app that will make Bitcoin take off. Personally, I see that Bitcoin has only increased in adoption since its release. Still, I'm very excited to see what will become of Openbazaar in the next few months.

Finally, I'll close with the words of OpenBazaar project leader Brian Hoffman:

“Trade was meant to be free. This idea inspired us to spend the last two years building OpenBazaar. Starting today, anyone in the world with access to an Internet connection can use Bitcoin and OpenBazaar to exchange goods and services freely. We can’t wait to see how people will use this tool.”

I'm Ahmad Al-Hemmally, known on the Internet as @ahmadmanga. I'm a Bitcoin lover, hobbyist game developer, and freelancer artist.

Wanna find me on OpenBazaar? Here's my page: ob://09194af13198166b06bc441264605d48e1a25679

Did you like the article? You can tip me at: 1PKD17BWsUyytsq1AZo4bBAhxLfKWPsW54

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