OpenBazaar CEO Brian Hoffman recently revealed that the upcoming version of the open source project would be able to connect through Tor network.
This came after one of their back-end developers, Chris Pacia, successfully upgraded the OpenBazaar protocol on a pre-release update.
This latest development will effectively take out of the equation one of the platform’s biggest shortcomings by allowing users to maintain their online privacy under the cloak of Tor.
Far From Finished
Sam Patterson, another OpenBazaar developer, went into detail on the upcoming Tor-related development and said that connectivity over Tor will be possible as the open source project will be ditching the previous User Datagram Protocol (UDP) on v1.0 and upgrading to IPFS in the upcoming v2.0.
The reason why v1.0 is not capable of running on Tor, he explained in a lengthy comment on Reddit, is because Tor was using Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which made it impossible for OpenBazaar v1.0 to establish interconnectivity with Tor.
The upcoming Tor-related version of OpenBazaar comes as a bit of a surprise to most given that the open source project had long been dismissed as being capable of running on Tor.
Despite its imminence, Patterson refused to give any solid timelines as he explained that the project was still in its nascent stages and months away from completion.
He, however, encouraged more people to contribute to the open source project in order to speed up the process.
A Revolutionary Ecommerce Platform
For most, OpenBazaar is still a concept that eludes their grasp, and this is mainly attributed to the fact that not many know exactly how the platform works.
To summarize, the open source project seeks to create a Bitcoin-powered p2p online commerce platform where buyers get to deal directly with the sellers.
There are no transaction fees or any other fees whatsoever, and the whole concept is fairly unrestricted.
Unlike the mainstream online commerce platforms which only accept certain forms of payment or charge fees for services rendered, OpenBazaar gives the users full control over the whole process.
As such, there are no middle entities that can manipulate the process or impose any fees and restrictions.
The “openness” of OpenBazaar goes as far as allowing transactions to take place without creating accounts or divulging any personal information.
How It Works
Users of the OpenBazaar client can post listings of items on sale in the same fashion as one would on any e-commerce site.
The listings are then availed to other users of OpenBazaar through the distributed p2p network.
Once a buyer and a seller settle on an agreed price, a contract containing the digital signatures of the two parties is created and sent to an agreed upon moderator, a third party who is vital to the completion of the transaction.
The third party acts as a witness but is also required for the creation of a multisig Bitcoin account where two out of three signatures are needed to release the Bitcoin amount.
The buyer then pays the agreed upon amount to the multisig account.
Once the seller gets the notification of payment, he ships the item to the buyer, who upon receiving it, marks it received.
The Future of Online Commerce
OpenBazaar has effectively fulfilled every conceivable utopian commerce fantasy by creating a global platform where buyers and sellers can conduct trade without any manipulative third party incurring unnecessary fees.
One aspect that is much appreciated concerning the OpenBazaar system is the third party required to set up the multisig account.
The seller cannot get paid until the buyer is completely satisfied with the purchase.