Can OpenBazaar Make Free Trade Unstoppable?

The mission of OpenBazaar is to give everyone in the world “the ability to directly engage in trade with anyone in the world for free,” says Brian Hoffman, the project’s 33-year-old project leader.

A peer-to-peer network for selling goods online, OpenBazaar runs on open source software that users download and install on their computers, which is similar to a BitTorrent client. The client connects them to the OpenBazaar network, where they can trade with other users. It’s like eBay without eBay. All items are paid for using bitcoin.

“OpenBazaar doesn’t have a central point of failure,” explains OB-1 co-founder Sam Patterson. “Everyone using it is a node in a completely distributed network. If you take one user off the network, it has no impact on any of the other users.”

Last year, OB1, the company that’s developing the OpenBazaar network, got a million dollars in venture capital from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and investor William Mougayar.

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