The decentralised ‘successor to Silk Road’, DarkMarket, has been copied and given a new, more palatable name, OpenBazaar.
A proof of concept developed at the recent Toronto Bitcoin Expo hackathon, DarkMarket uses the bitcoin protocol to create a marketplace that is impossible for any government to shut down.
Now the open-source code for DarkMarket has been forked – a coding term that means ‘to create a separate branch’ – by developer Brian Hoffman, who says he wants to build an alternative market “without the ‘Dark’ stigma”.
“I felt the [DarkMarket] project had merit, but we need to sidestep the stupid name issue if we were going to make progress,” Hoffman told CoinDesk via email.
He says his aim isn’t to build a platform for people to buy drugs or other illegal goods:
However, like the DarkMarket team, he notes:
The idea behind DarkMarket is to create a decentralised trading platform run by each of its participants, instead of one run by a central authority, which can control trades (and be held accountable for them).
“Orders placed on [OpenBazaar] would be encrypted and transmitted to peers directly. If the Feds came knocking on our door to provide something, there's nothing to provide,” says Hoffman.
Hoffman, who works as a consultant to the US Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs on health programmes, specifically on an encrypted, secure, health-messaging system called the Direct Project, says he doesn’t have an official launch date for OpenBazaar yet, saying:
Words of power
Following the creation of DarkMarket, some in the bitcoin community called on the DarkMarket team, which includes anarchist bitcoin developer Amir Taaki, to change the name:
“By calling this important invention the DarkMarket I'm afraid Amir et al are playing into the system’s hands,” wrote one redditor who created a petition to alter the branding.
: “If you're bothered enough, then create the change you want to see.”
With the advent of OpenBazaar, it seems his words were heeded.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.