Within hours of online marketplace OpenBazaar’s launch earlier this year, it was host to its first stores offering illegal merchandise.
But, it turns out that early precedent was not a harbinger of things to come at the distributed e-commerce platform, supported by VC-backed software startup OB1, which boasts investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures. The next phase of the open-source, distributed market, dubbed OpenBazaar 2.0, will be aimed at meeting mainstream demand.
From a new user interface making it easier for large companies to sell at scale, to a native bitcoin wallet aimed at simplifying the buying process, the new features are designed to reach the widest audience possible and expected to be rolled out over the coming months.
One of the more than 300 vendors online at any given moment is Sam Patterson, who in addition to helping manage the upgrades made by various members of the open-source community, runs OB1’s own shop that sells a range of OpenBazaar swag.
Patterson estimates that of 7,000 items for sale at any given time, only about 200 are “illicit” and that global adoption is picking up pace.
He told CoinDesk:
“The really neat thing we’ve seen beyond the enthusiasm