OpenBazaar is officially open for business. The company announced the launch in a blog post as the news spread like wildfire through the Bitcoin community. The marketplace is the first of its kind decentralized market with no third party or central authority involved. Here is my initial review of using the platform on its first day.
OpenBazzar’s Open Public: A Review of My Experience
Going to the OpenBazaar (OB) homepage and downloading the DMG file for my Mac was quite simple. The program had assessed my computer was an Apple and initiated the download immediately after I authorized it. Due to the fact that it was made by “unknown” developers I had to install the platform with my login credentials and was thoroughly surprised on how quickly it started. The program is available for other operating systems as well.
Upon launch, you are looking at a blue screen very much like entering the OpenBazaar tent and are asked to choose a language. From there you can pick a theme, which is basically a backdrop cover picture you can change and fill out your user information. Here I used my real name and credentials for my website because I will be opening up a store to sell my artwork in the future.
However, you can choose to use an alias and leave as little information as you want. I found that quite a few people used their real names and businesses within the platform, and a small amount looked like they used aliases.
The population of OpenBazaar seemed to be quite large already when scrolling the “discovery” section of the application. I could scroll on for quite some time and follow any page or merchant I was interested in. The program felt very much like a social media platform such as Facebook or Google Plus. I was pleased with the experience, and everything worked properly while I surfed the pages of OB’s users and merchants.
Items for sale on the platform are not that plentiful at the moment, however. There were clothing, handmade soaps, watches, baseball cards and other items available. You can find products like organic coffee, but most of the items were Bitcoin-related, which was cool with me but hopefully more variety will come later.
I had also discovered that a lot of people were advertising to become moderators or arbitrators for a fee. I assume this is a free market way of creating arbitration for transactions within the program whereas people become reputable for mediation. Most people charged a relatively small fee of 1%, but there were others who were much higher.
Overall I thought the application was refreshing to use and thought it could even overtake some popular social media platforms in due time. Everything had run smoothly for me with my MacOS installation, and the program was quite simple to understand and navigate. Starting a “store” is just as simple as creating a page and all a merchant has to do is list their items. Eventually, when I get my act together, I will be selling prints from my website crypto-graphics.com and doing this will only take a few minutes of my time when I’m ready.
It will be fun to see if the platform blossoms into something bigger than it already is, though its seems to be growing fast already. OB says that in time they will be adding specialized “services” to the program, and it looks like they could do a variety of things to produce income.
The best thing though is that anyone can start making money by offering services such as mediation and selling an array of products online. I was happy with my first experience using OpenBazaar and recommend people give it a test run and try it for themselves. One “brave soul” has already set up his shop on the platform.
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) April 4, 2016
Bitcoin.com will keep our readers informed of any upcoming development from this project as it begins its travels down the decentralized road.
How was your experience with OpenBazaar? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of the OpenBazaar platform, merchant and profile pages