OpenBazaar is a first of its class platform—a decentralized marketplace that truly believes in the idea of free markets. Ever since in 2016, the site continued to evolve and develop.
And recently, the developers announced that the platform is now accepting Bitcoin Cash, a cryptocurrency that has hard-forked from Bitcoin as a means of solving the scaling problems.
Aside from Bitcoin Cash, the platform also integrates Zcash, a cryptocurrency that features higher levels of anonymity and privacy.
The recent integration of other cryptocurrency options is just one of the many milestones of OpenBazaar’s history. Just recently, the developers integrated The Onion Router (Tor) network into the OB platform.
Also, the developers still have a lot of big plans in the future. For example, OB is expected to introduce its own token in mid-2018.
When asked about the recent integration of Bitcoin Cash and Zcash, CEO Brian Hoffman commented to press that when they started the platform, Bitcoin was the only viable cryptocurrency.
Now, the cryptocurrency markets have evolved, and there are other coins that have their own uses. The integration of Bitcoin Cash and Zcash is just a way for OB to evolve with cryptocurrency markets, giving the buyers and sellers more options when it comes to making a transaction.
OB may have a unique idea behind it, but it’s in a tough market. It’s in direct competition with eBay and Amazon in some ways. Nevertheless, there are some people who believe in OB’s idea.
In fact, the company has already raised more than $4 million, according to data compiled on Crunchbase. Some of its big investors include BlueYard, Digital Currency Group, Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
And yet, it cannot be denied that OB still has a lot of big challenges in the future—perhaps the biggest challenge is adoption.
OpenBazaar is stuck in a tough position.
Darknet marketplaces often thrive as they allow the trade of illegal goods and services. On the other hand, eBay thrives because it’s where people go if they want to buy from an auction or hold their own auction.
OB is working to find its place in the market because it’s directly competing with eBay, but at the same time, it’s not exactly a darknet marketplace even though it allows payment through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and now Bitcoin Cash and Zcash.
Keep in mind that the OB platform is a decentralized protocol. This means that the developers only sell the software, but they don’t have control of what is being sold on the OB market.
While some sellers can use the platform to buy and sell illegal goods and services, OB is not known to be a “darknet market.”
This is why the road is tough when it’s directly competing with eBay. If a popular auction platform can’t successfully take some of the market share, then OB is highly unlikely to succeed.
There’s also the issue of funding—$4 million might sound huge to an average joe, but it’s a drop in a bucket in the technology sector. Some potential investors are having concerns about OpenBazaar mainly because of legal concerns.
As mentioned before, OB has no control over what’s being bought and sold on the platform. It’s the route that the developers took so they can claim they are “neutral” when they do run into problems with the law.
However, observers are not quite sure if the regulators will buy this stance.
While OB’s idea of a decentralized market may be revolutionary, it’s having a problem with being adopted.
This may soon change in the future as the developers are integrating more cryptocurrency options, including the popular Bitcoin Cash, for the platform.