This past September the cryptocurrency-based decentralized marketplace, Openbazaar, launched its 2.0 platform with a slew of new features. Now a couple of months later, the marketplace seems to be seeing some significant growth as vendors from Darknet markets are starting to flock to the protocol’s benefits.
Privacy Enhancements Give Openbazaar a Boost
This week news.Bitcoin.com took a tour through the search listings held on the Openbazaar 2.0 platform. The new version has three search engines including OB1, Duo, and Raw Flood which give users more depth while searching for products using Openbazaar. In addition to the improved search features, the platform now utilizes the Tor browser, has a native bitcoin wallet, Shapeshift integration, and offline stores. Just by visiting Openbazaar a user can see that these attributes have increased the amount of vendors and users exponentially, as there are more products to peruse than a just a few months ago.
In fact, the offline stores and Tor integration have also attracted Darknet Market (DNM) vendors as well. These vendors are starting to believe using Tor over Openbazaar helps mask a user’s identity, while the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) protocol keeps stores available 24-7. On the Reddit forum /r/darknetmarkets, many users detail in a long thread that selling illicit products through Openbazaar by using Tor and VPNs is working as intended.
“We had our first sale today and were able to withdraw the money with no issues at all — The system is very smooth and easy to use,” explains a DNM vendor.
Serving Patrons from Both Black and White Markets
News.bitcoin.com decided to see how many listings we could find where people were selling illicit goods like cannabis. A search on DUO reveals there are 350 cannabis listings selling the actual flower, oil, and other marijuana accessories. Roughly a third of the cannabis listings are actually selling the drug online for a variety of different prices. There are other narcotics available like Kratom powder, Opium seeds, Molly (MDMA), Psilocybin, and a few designer drug listings as well.
Openbazaar definitely doesn’t have as many black market listings like centralized DNMs such as Dream, Libertas, and the Wall Street Market. Further, the decentralized market has a lot of legal products for sale too including socks, stickers, comic books, DVDs, cookies, Nintendo games, iPhones, Opendimes, Trezors and more. The sales and transaction history is way more advanced than the previous version, including dispute resolution data as well.
A Few Software Quirks, But a Whole Lot More Action
Using the platform, news.Bitcoin.com noticed every now an then there’s an error running Tor, and the search query for listings fails. Additionally, some users might not like the high fee estimation for the platform’s native wallet, but users can change the fee settings from “priority to economic” if they believe the fees are too much.
Besides a few initial software quirks, there’s a whole lot more action happening on the Openbazaar platform with more products, services, and vendors since our last review of the startup’s 1.0 platform. Additionally, those who enjoy chemical calisthenics might find what they’re looking for using Openbazaar’s improved search feature.
Have you visited Openbazaar since 2.0 was released? What do you think about the decentralized marketplace? What do you think about the platform attracting black market vendors? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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Images via Shutterstock, the OB logo, and Openbazaar 2.0.
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