Now that the infamous Silk Road, which was an underground online marketplace, has been shut down and its owner put behind bars, many are wondering if there will be any companies that could venture in the same type of business. This marketplace has been notorious for criminal dealings and drug sales, with most transactions using bitcoin for its anonymity.
Enter OpenBazaar, which is a new online platform powered by bitcoin. Through this marketplace, customers can buy or sell practically anything using the cryptocurrency. With that, the market is also completely decentralized and unregulated just like the bitcoin industry.
OpenBazaar: Another Silk Road in the Making?
Bitcoin usage isn’t governed by any monetary authority or central bank, as the verification of transactions is done through a network of computers solving complex algorithms. For every successfully verified transaction, a block of code is added to the public ledger of transactions called the blockchain. There is no need to keep track of the identities involved in the transaction, making it ideal for those who want to remain anonymous.
Venture capital giants Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures recently invested $1 million in OpenBazaar, which could pave the way for expansion and stronger growth for the company. Its owner has emphasized that they are not creating another Silk Road since they will take measures to monitor any misuse of the platform.
Authorities are already concerned that the platform might facilitate transactions within terrorist groups or condone drug trades and other criminal activity. Others are also concerned about the potential repercussions of entrusting most of the system’s transactions to artificial intelligence, which might allow machines to “think” autonomously later on.
While peer-to-peer transactions over hidden networks could still persist without a platform like OpenBazaar, this particular platform could gain more traction with the backing of venture capital groups with deep pockets.