Note: This blog post is outdated. Read this article for the latest code.
OpenBazaar was started in early April of this year as a proof of concept. The first few months were a small experiment to see how it could work. A month ago, we released the first beta, and it’s grown to a platform that people are beginning to test and use. You can check out what the network looks like in the video below. Today, beta 2.0 goes live.
For a project of this magnitude to succeed it takes more than just a little elbow grease on the weekends. To build a world-class, production ready piece of software that passes security audits and can claim features like censorship-resistance, resilience, and pseudo-anonymity we must have considerable contributions in terms of people, finances and interest. We’ve been pleasantly surprised at the interest we’ve received, and we’re finally starting to nail down the people aspect as well.
We’ve had several great additions to the team and the impact it has made is jarring. Our codebase is currently going through a cleansing process and being poked and prodded from all angles to ensure we are delivering quality source code. Our development methodology is getting a thorough adjustment to simplify the contribution model, but at the same time provide additional structure and organization to the project. This has been a frustrating but fruitful process as we shift from a one man coding show to a team of professional individuals working together. This shift may slow down the roll-out of new features, but long-term it makes the code much more secure, easier to understand and contribute to, and will prevent growing pains down the road.
As such, we are shifting away from rolling out a full release at the end of the year, and moving instead to release new betas each month until we feel the code is worthy of being called a full release. Because this is a security product, we are slowing down the additions of new features until we have implemented full unit testing and a significant refactoring of the code. Once these have been achieved we will then build new features on the proper foundation.
One other really exciting aspect of the project in my eyes is the future of our user interface. Anyone with development experience can see that our current UI is mostly based off of the Bootstrap style. While great for bootstrapping an application, it doesn’t have its own personality and soon will we start to shed that exterior. We have a very talented set of designers and can’t wait to reveal more about what this will look like. The product will be much more intuitive, which is one of our primary goals as we roll this product out to the larger community.
To sum it all up we are making great progress and you the community are truly stepping up to support us whether through Reddit posts, bug reports, code contributions, donations or any of the other myriad ways to help us out. We feel the love and we are doing our best to return it to you. We do this for the betterment of our fellow global citizens, not to become millionaires. We call on you to help us make OpenBazaar the most exciting project on Internet!