With an announcement today, decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace OpenBazaar is open for business, in its first full version released and available for downloads.
It has been nearly two years since initial chatter arose, with word of a decentralized marketplace being developed in time for a public beta in 2014. In the following years, the decentralized, unregulated and open-source marketplace went through multiple betas.
Now, OpenBazaar sees its first full version launched today in a public release, moving beyond the beta phase.
While the release isn’t feature-packed to fully satisfy bitcoin users, it will still bring about plenty of cheer among the crypto- and bitcoin-community, as a project that has come to be fully realized after over 18 months in early development.
With its release, Brian Hoffman, project lead behind the development of the marketplace stated:
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.
OpenBazaar, a fork of DarkMarket, sought to be the eBay for bitcoiners, only decentralized and cutting out the need for a middleman. With no centralized authority exerting control, users do not need to pay for any fees and engage in trade directly with each other.
The press release adds:
OpenBazaar is permissionless trade. There are also no central authorities that act as gatekeepers and restrict trade.
OpenBazaar core-developers received a round of funding in 2015 from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen-Horowitz and angel investor William Mougayar. This helped the developers create a company called ‘OB1’ to enable full-time development of the marketplace protocol and its software.
Furthermore, users and bitcoin enthusiasts can expect to see a steady development schedule in the future.
The company, named ‘OB1’, will continue releasing improved versions of the software over the coming months, and will begin offering services to users on the network.
An early beta release saw the company commence its testing in late August 2014. The same year in October, OpenBazaar revealed an early teaser a new GUI as a part of its Beta 4.0 release, scheduled for a later time. November 2014 saw the third version of its Beta release schedule in the offing.
Speaking to CCN in an earlier interview, Sam Patterson, operations lead at OpenBazaar elaborated on the need for a decentralized digital marketplace.
We’ve all been involved in the bitcoin movement for a while, and felt that our decentralized and censorship-resistant money needed a decentralized and censorship-resistant platform to go with it.
Once someone got the effort in gear, we decided it was time to make this happen for real.
OpenBazaar is available for download here.
Images from OpenBazaar.