OpenBazaar ‘more favourable to sellers than eBay’

The creator of decentralised marketplace OpenBazaar has claimed it is much more favourable to sellers than Etsy or eBay because fees can never be arbitrarily increased.

Brian Hoffman, Chief Executive of OpenBazaar’s parent company OB1, told attendees at yesterday’s Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto event that e-commerce website Etsy has just significantly raised its seller fees.

“Increasing fees is something that centralised services can do,” he said. “OpenBazaar can never do that overnight because the protocol is completely free. You don’t pay for any part of it except the transaction fees associated with cryptocurrencies. You can choose which cryptocurrency you use, so if fees go up on Bitcoin you can switch to something else.”

Hoffman explained that OpenBazaar is not a Bitcoin or Ethereum project, but is completely agnostic to payment. The marketplace supports several cryptocurrencies and is looking to accept more.

“There’s this massive tribalism around blockchain – people have their favourite – but I think a lot of the similarities between blockchains will make OpenBazaar even better,” Hoffman stated. “You can take the good parts of each and incorporate them into the protocol. For example, we’re working on Ethereum integration and the smart contracts are much more robust than in Bitcoin. Will it scale? We don’t know, but we’re not putting all our eggs into one blockchain basket.”

Hoffman said people were selling “all kinds of weird stuff” on OpenBazaar, giving it a garage sale feel. “The marketplace is still small and it’s very eclectic,” he added. “The people using it are really trying to figure out, what’s a way I can offer a service or something I have for sale in order to get into crypto? It’s a more organic way rather than just going to Coinbase and mining it directly.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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