The developers of OpenBazaar, the decentralized e-commerce protocol, have released the first live version of the software.
Now available for download, OpenBazaar enables peer-to-peer digital commerce, with bitcoin used as a payment method - akin to a distributed eBay-style marketplace that uses the digital currency. OpenBazaar grew out of an earlier project called DarkMarket which aimed to facilitate decentralized online commerce.
The release comes after a public testing period that saw a variety of storefronts created using the experiment-focused bitcoin testnet for transactions. The developers said today that this test period resulted in more than 25,000 downloads worldwide (across 126 countries) and more than 3,000 vendors created.
"Starting today, anyone in the world with access to an Internet connection can use bitcoin and OpenBazaar to exchange goods and services freely. We can't wait to see how people will use this tool," project lead Brian Hoffman said in a statement.
The developers behind the OpenBazaar raised $1m in capital last year from venture firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures as well as angel investor William Mougayar, forming a startup called OB1 to oversee development and create services aimed at OpenBazaar users.
Images via OpenBazaar, Shutterstock