Openbazaar Raises $5M from Investors Including Bitmain & OMERSin News
On Tuesday, March 13, OB1, Openbazaar, the company building the cryptocurrency-centric marketplace has announced it has raised $5 million dollars in a recent series A funding round. exchange and was inspired by a hackathon project called DarkMarket. OpenBazaar uses blockchain as the foundation of a decentralized online market, a “permissionless marketplace.” OpenBazaar’s buyers and sellers use bitcoin and can transact anonymously if they choose the Tor option. The marketplace’s welcome page offers users “no data collection, and no censorship.” This unregulated commerce raises questions about who is selling what to whom. OpenBazaar disputesthat it’s a darknet market, as was the now-defunct Silk Road. Yet it does concede, in its own words, “no one is able to directly stop illicit activity on the network.”
“OpenBazaar is a protocol and network for trade,” OB1 explains, opining that “the OpenBazaar network tends to reflect society in general: a few people engage in illicit activity, but the vast majority don’t.”Over the past few years, over $4 million in venture capital has been injected into the project. Now, this week OB1 reveals it has raised another $5 million from prior investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and the Digital Currency Group. Also announced today, the platform will launch a verified moderators program later this week. OB1 said in the release:
"Our plans for this year include releasing web and mobile versions of the application, as well as giving users new ways to trade with each other, such as making requests and buying and selling cryptocurrencies."The team added support for bitcoin cash and Zcash in February. The goal for its own upcoming token is to address pain points across the platform, and ultimately the industry.
"You have this massive amount of content that people are just dumping onto the decentralized web or into OB," the firm's CEO, Brian Hoffman, told International Business Times. "And there's no Google there to clean it up and serve it up nicely and organize it." "I think our first step is to look at how a token could allow merchants and advertisers to create compelling content and help build businesses," he said.