After a two year break, OpenBazaar, the decentralized marketplace platform, is on its way back to life, according to some vague tweets from its official account.
The digital marketplace—where users sold goods from homemade candles to medicine—had shuttered in late 2020 due to dried up funding. After initially announcing its closure, the marketplace was temporarily rescued by an anonymous donor—but it ultimately wasn't enough to keep OpenBazaar open for business.
OpenBazaar CEO Brian Hoffman confirmed in a message to Decrypt that he is rebuilding the marketplace, though he declined to add any further detail. The OpenBazaar website has been updated to say "openbazaar 3.0 - coming soon."
OpenBazaar is like the digital marketplace to Bitcoin’s currency. It was known for its unique approach to online shopping, providing a decentralized marketplace where users could buy and sell goods without the need for a central authority, like, say, Amazon or Etsy. The idea was to give users more freedom over the goods they sold.
The plan worked for a while before OpenBazaar's funding issues. Merchants set up hundreds of shops, accepting cryptocurrencies for their goods.
According to Hoffman's GitHub account (a site where developers post their code publicly for others to use), he has been working on a new implementation of OpenBazaar in the programming language Rust, which is all the rage in Bitcoin lately.
On Twitter, some users are already excited about OpenBazaar’s return.
In an interview with CoinDesk in 2018, OpenBazaar co-founder Washington Sanchez described OpenBazaar's purpose as such: "OpenBazaar is supposed to be a free and open protocol for trade using cryptocurrency, a way for currencies and tokens to gain meaningful economic utility to acquire goods and service, and an entry point for people to earn and onboard."
Following the OpenBazaar's shutdown in 2020, its founders hinted that structural changes would be needed to further place control of the marketplace in the hands of its community and away from the company that initially created it.
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