OpenBazaar is an “Anarchist eBay On Acid”

More on OpenBazaar, which I’ve covered a few times recently while looking into decentralized marketplaces. This comes from a Forbes article, first published in March 2016.

Then there’s the ethos of OpenBazaar’s chief purveyors: Brian Hoffman, a former lead associate for cybersecurity at Edward Snowden’s old employer , long-time Bitcoin specialist Sam Patterson and academic Dr. Washington Sanchez. After taking over the OpenBazaar project after a few emails from its original creator Amir Taaki, one of the first to promote and develop Bitcoin and the associated Dark Wallet, the trio sought to make a platform free of government control where companies could make more money by cutting out the middleman, typically the owner of the store like eBay or Amazon, who take a small percentage of each sale on their respective platforms

Much of the article focuses on the potential use of OpenBazaar for illegal trade, which we’ve discussed previously. Certainly, that remains a potential issue, though the article rightly points out that OpenBazaar isn’t really the problem:

But even if it does become a playground for criminals, to blame the OpenBazaar creators would miss the point. The OpenBazaar protocol, explains Hoffman, is “agnostic”. Like all code, it has no explicit moral bias. “The distinction allows for sale and trade of goods legally in one jurisdiction that may actually be illegal in others but does not intentionally enable users to conduct illegal trade and encourage that,” Hoffman adds. “It’s a tool, not a business.”

It’s been roughly 2 years since the article was written. Since then, there certainly hasn’t been mainstream adoption and the listings still tend to be somewhat quirky and odd, though not quite to the degree described in the article. Read the full article for more info.

Andrew @ EcomLoop
EcomLoop founder. I've worked in ecommerce since 2005, beginning with my own ebay store. I've run multiple independent ecommerce businesses on Magento, Joomla, and more recently, Shopify and WooCommerce. I believe marketplaces should be looked at as a sales channel and that all independent businesses should strive to build a direct connection with their audience for long-term success.

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