OpenBazaar State of the Code; August 2014

To help keep the community aware of OpenBazaar’s progress, I will occasionally publish an overview of where we are at in the project. Here’s our first “State of the Code”.

Beta Release

Two months ago at the Bitcoin in the Beltway Conference I stood in front of the audience and presented our development roadmap for OpenBazaar. The first major milestone was an ambitious one: Beta Release at the end of August.

Brian presenting at Bitcoin Beltway - Image: Magnus
Brian presenting at Bitcoin Beltway – Image: Magnus

When I announced we would be releasing the first beta version of the product I envisioned a fairly small scope and was leveraging the teamwork of just a few individuals. Fortunately, since then our team has grown in size and expertise and that scope has grown. This will make OpenBazaar much more viable as a scalable and powerful solution. Therefore, we have decided to migrate from a simplified Beta then Full Release schedule to a much more nimble and continuous development process. This means that instead of simply launching a product and hoping the community finds it valuable, we are now able to continually work on the development and incorporate feedback from the community as we move forward.

If you’ve been looking forward to testing OpenBazaar out, don’t worry: we will be releasing a version of the software that can be installed on Mac OSX, Linux and Windows on August 31st. As it’s the first Beta, it will be fairly limited in functionality and Sam Patterson will be posting a more detailed outline of this when we release.

Other updates

I won’t even try to list all the developments and progress we’ve made since this project began. To summarize, we have been encouraged by the community support displayed, which has increased our appetite for making this project succeed.

Team Member Updates

OpenBazaar Team Members
OpenBazaar Team Members

We are so excited to have so many great people helping out the project, and to see the number of contributors continue to increase. All of our team members participate for no payment and have contributed a massive amount of personal effort and time to get us where we are now, and for that I know I am grateful and I am pledging as much as I can to the project as well. If you know of others who are interested in assisting, please get in touch with us at project@openbazaar.org so that we can help you figure out where it would be possible.

Formalizing the Organization

Our team is currently looking at different ways to legitimize the project in ways that would benefit the community as a whole. We are not quite sure how this will happen, but rest assured our principles of zero fee operation and openness will remain. That being said, we are considering ways to bolster development and operational support in ways other than a funding address. We will let everyone know if any decisions are made one way or another.

Partnerships

Over the last few months we have received many emails and messages from businesses small and large, who want to start using OpenBazaar as soon as possible.

As we approach the Public Release of OpenBazaar at the end of the year (notional), we will be working with groups to line up some Day 1 merchants, notaries, and arbitration participants. If you are interested in this process please contact us at project@openbazaar.org so that we can get you on our follow up list and help you find out more about how this will work.

We have also been approached daily by almost every altcoin outside of Doge to incorporate it into the project. For the record, we aim to support altcoins capable of multisignature transactions. However, we have no definite timeline for altcoin support to give at this time.

Many of you have donated to the cause (over 5 BTC raised), contributed to our development or written articles or tweets about us and we thank you graciously for all of that.

Final Comments

Overall, the project is heading in a great direction. With the Bitcoin community’s help (and patience), we can deliver a product that will change how we use our Bitcoin for the better. Our goal remains simple: provide an easy to use application that anyone in the world can use to spend Bitcoin (or other crypto-currencies) on goods and services without an intermediary. There is no one way to accomplish this goal. We hope to innovate and inspire others to follow our lead in creating more decentralized services so that we can one day live and interact with each other with true freedom.

Brian Hoffman
Project Lead