In the early days of Bitcoin, much of the community’s focus was around payment and getting merchants to adopt cryptocurrencies. Although the technology and narratives have evolved, some projects continue to embrace that original vision of peer-to-peer business, where merchants and their customers interact directly, and if they so wish, anonymously.

We’re joined by Brian Hoffman and Washington Sanchez of OpenBazaar. Since we last interviewed Brian in 2015, the project has grown to become a mature decentralized marketplace where people come together to buy and sell products and services anonymously with crypto. Its polished interface and reputation system gives users a similar experience to that of using eBay, but without fees or the risk of censorship.

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Brian and Washington’s respective backgrounds
  • The origins of OpenBazaar as the Dark Market project
  • The history and evolution of OpenBazaar since their last appearance on episode 67
  • How OpenBazaar managed to survive all these years and how the vision has evolved over time
  • Who uses the platform and to what ends
  • How it compares to traditional dark markets like The Silk Road
  • OpenBazaar’s position on deplatforming and how it responds to pressure to censor content
  • How OpenBazaar works under the hood as a collection of decentralized technologies
  • The company’s business model and future plans

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This episode is hosted by Sébastien Couture and Sunny Aggarwal. Show notes and listening options: