With Seed Funding, OpenBazaar Developer Focusing Efforts on Launching New Releases

The project team behind OpenBazaar, a BitTorrent-style peer-to-peer network on the Bitcoin Blockchain, indicated in their latest update that they are focusing efforts launching new releases rather than supporting the current beta platform.

OpenBazaar’s operations lead Sam Patterson noted:

Since OpenBazaar began in April of 2014, it’s been a group of volunteers all over the world contributing spare time to push out new releases every few months. Altogether we put out five releases, and the fifth of these is what is in our github repo right now. It is usable, but still has bugs and isn’t ready for real commerce yet.

Now that several of the core devs (myself included) have formed a company and received funding, we’re changing our approach to development. We won’t be doing incremental releases every few months, but instead put out a larger version 1 release later this year.

The main developers of OpenBazaar formed a company called OB1 and in June 2015 received $1 million in seed funding from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and angel investor William Mougayar to continue developing the protocol and client as well as the first business on top of the OpenBazaar network.

This is OB1’s roadmap for OpenBazaar’s development:OBroadmap

Patterson also informed the project’s community:

Since we have limited time and resources, we’re dedicating it all towards making the new release something incredible. This means that issues that arise with the existing code and network won’t be resolved, apart from minor maintenance such as keeping the seed servers running.

Testers are still free to run the existing code, but we won’t be making changes to the UI or fixing anything other than catastrophic bugs. As always, we’re happy to review pull requests to either the existing or the new code.

We will make sure to release new code as soon as possible to allow for testing the new client and networking. One part of this project that I’ve loved is having folks try out the code in real time and see what works and what doesn’t, often talking over IRC or Slack (which you can join here). This is still very important, and we’ll let everyone know as soon as we have new code to test out.

OpenBazaar has its origins in DarkMarket, a proof of concept developed by a group of developers led by Bitcoin enthusiast Amir Taaki in response to the seizure of bitcoin black market Silk Road in October 2013.