After shutting down in 2020 due to financial issues and poor user growth, the decentralized marketplace appears set to rise again.
The decentralized marketplace OpenBazaar appears set for a comeback after it was shut down over two years ago, according to a number of social media and GitHub updates.
A GitHub repository on the collaborative software development site shows progress as recent as April 12 on building a new version of the marketplace, which was shut down in 2020.
Brian Hoffman, the former project lead at OpenBazaar and CEO of OB1 — the for-profit company that developed its software — tweeted on April 9 of the progress made on a “new” version of the marketplace, saying it is “getting more interesting by the day.”
In the replies, Hoffman was asked how the marketplace would be different this time, given that OpenBazaar was previously forced to shut down due to financial issues and poor user growth.
Hoffman replied speaking of “freedom of exploration” and inferred that outside influence had contributed to its initial downfall.
The first hints that OpenBazaar would be launching a comeback came in a tweet from Hoffman on March 28, where he linked OpenBazaar’s GitHub page that showed he’d been working on a new version of the marketplace using the programming language Rust.
Just hours later OpenBazaar’s official account also posted a tweet saying that “it is now time to grow again from the ashes,” and that “work has begun.”
Adding to the evidence that the marketplace appears likely to relaunch, the OpenBazaar website currently bears the message “openbazaar 3.0 – coming soon.”
After the exchange had shut down in 2020, Hoffman tweeted that a future iteration of OpenBazaar would require more independence from OB1, but provided no more information about how this might work.
Hailed as a decentralized eBay alternative, OpenBazaar was first launched back in 2014. It allowed users to interact directly with each other to make transactions using Bitcoin BTC $30,630.
The marketplace initially had the name “DarkMarket,” but changed it to OpenBazaar following community input in an attempt to improve its public image.
Cointelegraph contacted Hoffman and OpenBazaar for comment but did not immediately receive a response.