OpenBazaar’s Blockchain

By Tiana Laurence

OpenBazaar is an open-source project that built a decentralized network for peer-to-peer digital commerce. Instead of traditional models where buyers and sellers go through a centralized service, like Amazon or eBay, the OpenBazaar platform connects them directly. They also utilize Bitcoin’s cryptocurrency to cut out fees and restrictions.

You need to download and install the OpenBazaar program on your computer. It then connects you to other people looking to buy and sell goods and services. It’s a peer-to-peer network that is not controlled by any company or organization. After you download the app, it’s easy to set yourself up as a buyer or seller. When you’re ready to purchase something, just do a search and see what comes up. It’s kind of like an anarchist’s version of eBay.

OpenBazaar may sound a lot like Silk Road, but it isn’t. Unlike on Silk Road, users are not anonymous. They can be tracked easily with their IP addresses, which makes it very unattractive for criminals. You can pull seller location data from the OpenBazaar API and map the position of all the participants in the network. There are a few ways to hide your location, and more private messaging is being explored, but currently, there is little to no illicit trade on the network.

OpenBazaar is working to appeal to major merchants and independent retailers. Those who can handle Bitcoin transactions and want to save money could gain a competitive advantage over the competition.