Casually, OpenBazaar announced this week that it would be adding support for Ethereum. A random promotional tweet from the OpenBazaar account led one follower to ask about support for Ether and Dai, the algorithmic stablecoin which has over 1% of Ethereum locked in its contracts. The official account for the marketplace responded that Ethereum support is almost complete:
First Ethereum, Then Tokens?
OpenBazaar is a decentralized, censorship-resistant commerce application that allows anyone to sell anything, anywhere. While it bills itself as a way for artists and small business people to have a fighting chance at owning their presence online, the platform did emerge in the wake of the Silk Road’s closure.
The platform doesn’t nakedly support the selling of drugs – it’s on the user what gets listed – it doesn’t stop it either. When the Silk Road fell, and plans for OpenBazaar were announced, demand for decentralized markets was at an all-time high.
People took their chances on darknet markets that arose to fill the void left by the Silk Road, such as Silk Road Reloaded and others that didn’t last long. A few of the markets that did survive, such as Wall Street Market and Dream Market, recently shut down.
It’s unclear how much of the shutdowns had to do with law enforcement. We do know that some darknet operators were arrested, and then warrants for the proprietors of DeepDotWeb, a once-reputable site for information about the darknet, were executed.
The Crest of the New Darknet
It’s 2019, and governments finally seem to be waking up to the limitless power of blockchain technology. The Marshall Islands just announced that they’d be moving entirely to a new cryptocurrency they’re launching. Several countries are learning how to regulate and track blockchain transactions.
One thing that Craig Wright says undoubtedly rings true: natively, blockchains provide more of a toolkit for law enforcement and government agencies than traditional cash ever could. Bitcoin doesn’t need serial numbers on the units, for example. There’s an open book of data that tells you everywhere that bit of coin has been, from its creation onward.
OpenBazaar is one of many tools designed to forge a free zone in cyberspace. Cryptocurrencies are only part of what they do when you look at it from this perspective. This is why they’re able to support numerous cryptos. At present, they’re supporting Bitcoin, Zcash, and a few others.
The addition of Ethereum support could lead to much higher usage of the platform. If OpenBazaar integrates existing wallets , in time it could be one of the more popular decentralized applications.
There are a few logical next steps.
First, ERC-20 and non-fungible tokens will have to be added. People will be able to buy and sell digital properties. A non-fungible token is one that represents a unique item on the blockchain, such as a game item.
More importantly, they can trustlessly trade cryptocurrencies.
The platform might not be as primed for full-time traders, but it will create a decentralized alternative way to offload unwanted tokens.
Second, more blockchains need to be brought into the fold. OpenBazaar has the potential to be the eBay of crypto – and bring similar demand from the mainstream – if it can serve the whole community. The addition of other major tokenized networks like Tron and EOS and, later, the Binance Chain as it grows assets and applications only makes sense.