OpenBazaar’s Bigger Picture in The Bitcoin Debates

OpenBazaar's Bigger Picture in the Bitcoin Debates

 

You could get whiplash trying to track the what’s-what and the who’s-who of Bitcoin. Just as the value is regularly breaking records now the debates are hotter than ever over the future of this blockchain that spawned a thousand blockchains.

No doubt Bitcoin is an important development in technology–some would say as important as the internet itself. Many also liken the energy around it to the time when the internet was developing for users and forward-thinkers knew it would be big, but not yet what all it could actually do. Now we can see the tools it birthed such as email and mobile and today we can see the impact those things have had.

We know enough about it now to know that it’s a pretty big deal but the questions of why, how and for whom still hang in our digital air.

How is a company who wants to build applications that use Bitcoin supposed to keep up?

Bitcoin is still king in this space but it is just the beginning of a huge new way of connecting, creating and sharing value online. It represents, we believe, the advent of a new internet. And that vision sparks technology which, in turn, sparks more vision.

Or as, allegedly, Marshall McLuhan stated in 1967:

“We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.”

The initial vision for Bitcoin was simply a peer-to-peer digital currency that would allow people to exchange payments without middlemen. Now it’s spawned many offshoots that are basically ideological playgrounds for what this sort of public ledger technology can really do. Each of these now are like puzzle pieces, microorganisms that are co-evolving in technology much like they do in nature.

We have experienced this personally with OpenBazaar where a new file storage protocol that didn’t materially exist just 3 years ago emerged with incredible implications for the protocol that we had built around that time. The choice to build version 2.0 on IPFS was pretty easy as it was an exact piece that was missing from our own puzzle. But it wasn’t shoved in the couch cushions, it simply didn’t exist yet. And that is awesome. It resulted in a lot of new work but we didn’t begrudge it. We transitioned with excitement and anticipation because we know why we’re doing what we’re doing.

We keep up by focusing on the bigger picture.

OpenBazaar is a marketplace that makes it easy for users to exchange goods and services for a cryptocurrency. And as the name itself implies, we believe in cryptocurrencies that can be used as a currency, a medium of everyday types of purchases.

We believe this because we want to live in a world with fewer barriers. We want to see a world where people can build what they want and where beautiful things happen when their work and tools overlap and complement one another. We believe in people making choices for themselves and taking ownership and control of what they do.

From code to lifestyle, we want to create tools that provide access, tools that allow everyone to figure out the kind of life they’d like to build, from wherever they are in the world.

Right now the path we need is paved with Bitcoin, which we love continue to champion, but it’s really about the vision of what Bitcoin represents–not the specific technology. Bitcoin may fail, but decentralization is guiding the ship for us.

We believe in faster, cheaper, better technology that connects more people with fewer barriers.

The only way through is through. That means boots-on-the-ground, roll-up-the-sleeves through. If you’re curious what the future looks like, then build it with us.

 


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