In the upcoming version 2.0, OpenBazaar will be able to connect over the Tor network. For the privacy conscious, lack of Tor support is one of the major drawbacks to the OpenBazaar protocol.
Brian Hoffman, the CEO of OpenBazaar, enthusiastically confirmed that a OpenBazaar will be running on Tor. A back end developer, Chris Pacia, was the first to successfully accomplish this on the pre-release update.
In a Reddit comment, OpenBazaar developer Sam Patterson goes into detail on the Tor-related progress. He says “This is possible because we are switching to IPFS for 2.0, which is compatible with Tor, unlike the current 1.0 build.” Many initially believed that Tor support was not an option in OpenBazaar for PR purposes, but developers explained otherwise. OpenBazaar v1.0 was built on the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) whereas Tor was built on the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Tor interconnectivity was therefore impossible.
Patterson gives no estimation for when we will see Tor support or v2.0. He writes “This is still early and not ready for use, but it appears it will be possible once 2.0 is launched. It’s still months out (we aren’t giving timelines) but the more people we have contributing the faster it gets finished. Anyone know Go?” For good measure, Patterson throws a Github link to the project in his post.
For those who are unclear on OpenBazaar’s function, an in depth summary can be found on DeepDotWeb.
The shortest summarization from the above linked article sums up OpenBazaar fairly well:
OpenBazaar (Github: https://github.com/OpenBazaar/openbazaar-go) is a spin-off of the Dark Market that is supported by the official Dark Market team going so far as to allow an OpenBazaar section on their online forums. OpenBazaar utilises Bitcoin and Cryptography to compete with the likes of eBay, enabling pure Peer-Peer transactions without a middle manipulating the entire scheme for their benefit.
Tor support has the potential to widen OpenBazaar’s userbase and add a new variable to the darknet market playing field.