by Brian Hoffman, CEO, OB1
The years leading up to OpenBazaar 2.0 went by in a flash, it seems, culminating in our best and most capable software release ever this month last year. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of development milestones, bug fixes, crypto political drama, and flying all over the world to promote the benefits of private, free trade for everyone.
Over 100,000 users have experienced the power of OpenBazaar 2.0 since it launched and it keeps growing bigger and stronger. All of our hard work continues to drive us collectively toward a better future for crypto users.
The Road to Here
We knew we were onto something great with version 1.0 of OpenBazaar. We used exciting, emerging technologies to build it but we discovered limits we wanted to push past to get the experience right for our users.
Development of OpenBazaar 2.0 started many months before its release late last year and took many hours of planning and designing from a large group of team members covering visual design, technical architecture, UX and UI development, community evangelism and marketing strategy. Some critical decisions were made to improve the experience of OpenBazaar, like scrapping our fully decentralized search feature in favor of using third party search engines (much like how Bittorrent operates), and replacing our shoddy p2p protocol with Protocol Labs’ IPFS and libp2p. This made our network connectivity improve greatly (though we still have a lot of work to do) and laid the groundwork for getting us to mobile and web applications.
These changes took a long time to implement and deliver, but the team did so fairly seamlessly on November 1st, 2017. There wasn’t much time to celebrate though as a transaction fee crisis was happening in parallel with a massive uptick in interest in Bitcoin. This sent the team into disarray as we struggled to find users who wanted to pay $30 in fees just to buy something like a $20 t-shirt in the marketplace.
After some consternation we decided the only solution was to expand our payment options to include other currencies to ease the scalability pains felt by our users and so in January we released Bitcoin Cash and ZCash (Beta) support for OpenBazaar. We are proud that we’ve been able to bring OpenBazaar to a broader community of crypto enthusiasts and are continuing that work today.
Wonder What’s Next?
In 2018 the breadth of crypto projects has increased exponentially through ERC-20 token issuances, completely new blockchains, layer two networks and more. We understand that there is a growing number of people interested in using all kinds of cryptocurrencies — not just Bitcoin — for e-commerce, coin trading, rewarding others for content creation and other use cases. OpenBazaar was always designed as a project for the world, not just for Bitcoin, and we’re hard at work re-engineering it to support new coins and communities.
Our next release will center on the multiwallet which will allow users to send and receive payments from one wallet instance that can hold these five coins: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Zcash, Ethereum and Litecoin. We hope to introduce this new capability soon, followed by even more coins.
Want to see more? Click here for an interactive demo!
OB1 is also bringing OpenBazaar to mobile with our own iOS and Android apps. We’re pioneering the technology to make a truly decentralized web version of OpenBazaar so that anyone can run it in their own standard browser. It’s an extremely bright future and every day thousands of new people are learning about the power of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other crypto projects.
There are even more exciting developments on the horizon beyond these ambitious releases that I can’t wait to share with you. Please sign up for our newsletter to learn about them as they are announced.
OpenBazaar 2 Turns 1
This month we are celebrating one year since the release of OpenBazaar 2.0 with promotions and events all month long. Connect with us on Reddit, Facebook and Slack to learn more and follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #OB2Turns1.
Every day we use technologies that make our lives easier, but at the expense of our privacy or security. We’re working on this freedom-focused project to give individuals another choice for how they buy, sell and share their information online, one that respects these values we share.
This movement is about taking control of the future we want to see for ourselves and our neighbors all around the world.
We are excited to keep working with you on this project and to help it grow together. We can only do it with your support so please spread the word and help us make OpenBazaar even better.