OpenBazaar, a decentralized commodity trading platform, announced on Friday that it has been unable to continue operations due to insufficient funds.
OpenBazaar stated in a public statement that unless a large number of community donations are received, its services-seed nodes, API wallets, exchange rate APIs-will all be shut down. A representative of the platform said: «As of now, we don’t have a clear (funding) goal, but for us, $100,000 should be enough for us to last until next year.»
OpenBazaar was established in 2014 and is currently one of the longest operating decentralized commodity trading platforms. OpenBazaar allows users to use cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCH and ETH to buy and sell goods online. As an open source project, OpenBazaar is not controlled by a single entity like traditional e-commerce platforms. Instead, many developers help it realize the P2P network function. Another big difference from traditional e-commerce is that no fees will be charged for selling goods on OpenBazaar, and there is no commission from middlemen.
Since OpenBazaar went live, the platform has completed close to US$44 million in cryptocurrency transactions. These transactions are used to buy various commodities such as sports shoes, laptops, board games and chocolates. However, compared with various darknets, this number is still pitiful. According to Chainalysis’s 2019 data, compared with the darknet market, the average daily transaction volume of the darknet market is between 5 million and 15 million US dollars.
OpenBazaar also said that its instant messaging and wallet application Haven will also stop running on October 1. Guidelines on how users will withdraw their funds will be announced in the next few days. In addition, OpenBazaar’s search engine and Blockbook’s indexer code will also be open source to provide convenience for those who need this type of infrastructure.
OpenBazaar said that the shutdown of services is almost a foregone conclusion, and there is only one possibility for continued operation-community support.
As of the posting, OpenBazaar’s announced donation address has received about 11672.44 USD worth of BTC, 979.78 USD ETH, 110.76 USD BCH, 13.47 USD LTC, and less than 10 USD ZEC. Although OpenBazaar did not specify exactly how much funds the platform needs to continue operating, it is clear that the current donation amount is still a certain distance from the rough figure of $100,000.