Openbazaar 2.0 Beta Launches
Openbazaar announced on Saturday its 2.0 beta release, after a month of alpha testing. The free, peer-to-peer, eBay-like marketplace already allows anyone to buy and sell all kinds of goods and services for bitcoin without censorship or fees. For the first time, however, Openbazaar 2.0's many new features can be used with real products instead of test data. The announcement states:
The beta uses real bitcoin and real listings.
IPFS & Offline Stores
One of the biggest complaints users had with Openbazaar before now has been stores going offline when vendors are not running their store apps. With version 2.0, even when the computer running the store is offline, other network nodes can display the store and still let customers place orders.
This is due to a major networking addition known as the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) protocol, which distributes store information between other Openbazaar users to help with store uptime and product availability. The team detailed:
Because this new version is built on IPFS, Openbazaar stores can now be accessible to buyers even when they are offline. Stores and listings can now be re-seeded by other Openbazaar users, meaning that if a store is seeded then buyers can purchase their listings even if they are offline.
Bitcoin Wallet and Shapeshift
Version 1 did not have a bitcoin wallet built in, making it harder for new users that were not already bitcoin owners to start using the platform. New for version 2.0 is a full-featured bitcoin wallet, which recently integrated Segwit. This "does allow us some transaction fee relief," commented Openbazaar developer and founder Washington Sanchez.
In addition to bitcoin, version 2.0 supports bitcoin cash as well as many altcoins through Shapeshift's "shifty button." Any coins available through Shapeshift can be used at Openbazaar stores.