OpenBazaar, the first “truly decentralised” bitcoin marketplace has published fully functional open beta version for users to try. Customers can negotiate sale and purchase deals without intermediaries.

Potential merchants and users need to have a testnet-enabled wallet and some testnet coins, which can be received either by selling products on the platform or by using a faucet.

“We welcome rigorous testing from the community to ensure everything is functioning properly … After we’re confident of the stability and functionality of the product, we’ll transition to the main net and OpenBazaar will be open for business,” the official OpenBazaar blog reads.

OpenBazaar rose from a concept, formerly known as DarkMarket, which won the Toronto Bitcoin Expo Hackathon in April, 2014. It is a peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform that is claimed to considerably lower the disrupting service risks. OpenBazaar's customers can contact each other directly and trade without any mandatory service fees. Nearly 2 years has been spent on developing a number of beta versions and attracting seed funding.

The main target audience of the newly created market is buyers and sellers that do not agree with service fees of the existing platforms, like eBay or Etsy. As Brian Hoffman, the lead developer of the open source project, said last July in an interview, the platform was supposed to attract up to 21% of customers dissatisfied with eBay.

Last June, OpenBazaar raised $1 million in seed funding from venture firms Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and an angel investor William Mougayar.

Elena Platonova