Can OpenBazaar deliver on its mission to allow any individual to trade with another freely? Bitcoin’s technology has opened the door to a new wave of entrepreneurs. The global sharing economy has enabled users to access a service that was hard to obtain in the past.
We are living in a world that is embracing decentralized business models. Uber and AirBnB are great examples of this, although, they are still based on centralized business models. OpenBazaar on the other hand is completely decentralized. No central authority can shut it down or impose changes.
The blockchain company called OB1 has developed a blockchain based online marketplace. There goal is to disrupt the global e-commerce industry valued at roughly 25 Trillion ZAR per annum. OB1’s CEO is Brian Hoffman says “Pretty simply OpenBazaar is an online marketplace that anyone, anywhere in the world can sell anything and you accept Bitcoin for the payment of those goods and services”
It has been called “Ebay on acid” because of the nature of the community and the interesting products that can be found on there already. If you would like to browse the products available we recommend duosear.ch, the openbazaar search service. There are all sorts of arts and crafts and interesting items available, many of which ship internationally.
It doesn’t host the listings or capture buyers details. OpenBazaar is an open source, peer-to-peer network for selling goods online. To run OpenBazaar, you need to run and install the software which can be downloaded at openbazaar.org. It is similar to BitTorrent, everyone who runs the software is a node on the network.
OpenBazaar doesn’t charge any fees for buyers or sellers. Moderaters on the platform charge a set fee of their choice to arbitrate transactions. Moderation fees are on average around 1% of the transaction, which is great for sellers. Ebay and Amazon charge roughly 15% in fees to sell on their platforms.
The game-changing aspect of this software is that there are no limits what you can sell. Now you may be thinking, doesn’t this facilitate illegal transactions, something reminiscent of the Silk Road? Critics say that this will be it’s downfall, but they say it is much bigger than that. It is more about building a free market, not just an illegal market.
The truth is, anyone who is hosting an open bazaar store is making their IP address public. That isn’t ideal for illegal transactions. If you open OpenBazaar, you will not be flooded with drug listings, Instead, you’ll find a host of interesting wares from comic books to t-shorts, badges and handmade goods.
OpenBazaar raised 1 Million USD in a seed round (2015). And while they only have about 140,000 users, they are growing fast. What do you think? Is OpenBazaar going to be the next Amazon or Alibaba?