A variety of social media and GitHub updates suggest that the decentralized marketplace OpenBazaar, which was shut down more than two years ago, is about to make a reappearance. A GitHub repository on the website for collaborative software development indicates activity on a new version of the marketplace, which was shut down in 2020, as recently as April 12.
The work made on a “new” version of the marketplace was tweeted about on April 9 by Brian Hoffman, the former project lead at OpenBazaar and CEO of OB1, the for-profit firm that created its software. He said it is “getting more interesting by the day.” Hoffman was questioned on how the market will be different this time around given that OpenBazaar had to shut down owing to operational problems and a lack of user growth in the responses.
Hoffman responded by referring to “freedom of exploration” and implying that outside forces were responsible for its early collapse. On March 28, Hoffman sent out a tweet that included a link to OpenBazaar’s GitHub page, which revealed that he had been working on a new version of the marketplace in the computer language Rust. This was the first indication that OpenBazaar might be making a comeback.
Only a few hours later, OpenBazaar’s official Twitter account sent a Tweet stating that “work has started” and that “it is now time to grow again from the ashes.”
The fact that the OpenBazaar website now displays the word “openbazaar 3.0 – coming soon” adds to the evidence that the market is probably about to reopen. Hoffman tweeted that a future version of OpenBazaar would need to be more independent from OB1 after the exchange had shut down in 2020, but he didn’t elaborate on how this may operate.
Since its first introduction in 2014, OpenBazaar has been lauded as the decentralized eBay alternative. It enabled users to communicate openly with one another and conduct transactions using Bitcoin $30,790. The marketplace’s original name was “DarkMarket,” but it was renamed to “OpenBazaar” in response to community feedback in an effort to boost its reputation. Hoffman and OpenBazaar were approached by Cointelegraph for comment, but no answer was received right away.