OpenBazaar 2.0 beta released: internal Bitcoin wallet and more
I have written in the past about OpenBazaar: a decentralised, free, P2P open market that allow ordinary people and vendors alike to sell online without the need of a centralised market like eBay or Amazon. The catch here is that everything happens online, using cryptocurrencies as payment and regulated by community moderators. No need for intermediaries and above all no fees. Up until now OpenBazaar has been an idea behind a product. For newbies even buying the smallest of the objects would require the user to know about Bitcoins and how they work. With OpenBazaar 2.0 developers aim to lower the barrier for newbies and streamline the checkout process as well as providing one of the most important feature: store persistency.
Integrated Wallet & Fast Checkout
Probably the biggest add since the project started: the internal wallet will allow user to pay for their purchases in a matter of clicks. The current implementation uses (and depends on) the Bitcoin Network, but developers assure the internal wallet can be adapted to use other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.
The OpenBazaar internal wallet is a SPV wallet, hence it doesn’t need to download the entire blockchain on the user’s device. This allows the client to be lightweight while relying on a trusted node to verify transactions.
Up until now you had to keep the client open or your store would go offline and no one would be able to buy or even take a look. This has been addressed using IPFS, a new decentralised technology that aims to revolutionise the Web. Thanks to this, other people (IPFS nodes) will be able to seed your store and serve it to potential buyers even when your computer is powered off. Previously, to achieve this behaviour a seller would have to rent a server to setup the OpenBazaar in a seemingly permanent way (still depends on the server).
If you tried OpenBazaar 1, you probably have noticed that search results are not accurate and sometimes they are completely empty. This is partially due to the decentralised nature of the software and the “offline problem” aforementioned. In OpenBazaar 2, search providers have been included in the client and search results are now much more reliable.
Although a minor addition, it is a pretty useful one. New tools to add Variants (e.g. size and color), Shipping options and Inventory management have been implemented to enhance vendor experiences.
More privacy with Tor
Although still in beta, OpenBazaar 2 seems pretty polished compared to its precedent version. The project is headed in the right direction, while listening to the community, developers are showing new features built atop of new technologies such as IPFS.