Washington, D.C. – June 1, 2017 – OB1, the company leading the development of the world’s first widely-used decentralized marketplace, OpenBazaar, announces strategic investment from Digital Currency Group (DCG). OB1 has now raised a combined $4.2 million from DCG, Union Square Ventures, Andreessen-Horowitz, BlueYard and angel investor William Mougayar to build their groundbreaking peer-to-peer e-commerce protocol using Bitcoin.


OpenBazaar is disrupting the traditional e-commerce model by allowing users to transact directly with one another anywhere in the world. OpenBazaar users don’t rely on a third party intermediary like eBay or Amazon, which take a cut of the revenues for connecting buyers and sellers. With OpenBazaar, people anywhere in the world are able to buy and sell goods with no commissions, while maintaining a degree of privacy greater than any e-commerce platform available today. The platform is built on the Bitcoin blockchain, which enables both buyers and sellers to transact using bitcoin, regardless of their access to traditional financial systems.


As the most active investor and business incubator in the bitcoin and blockchain industry, DCG is eager to bring OB1 into the DCG ecosystem which now spans over 100 companies across 27 countries, many of which leverage digital currencies like bitcoin to bring new users into the global financial system. Both DCG and OB1 share a vision for the future of commerce, and a commitment to making digital currencies more accessible and usable. Both firms see a future where users have more security and control of their financial activities. “The future of commerce is evolving to empower buyers and sellers,” says DCG CEO Barry Silbert, “and we are eager to work with OB1 to leverage the power of digital currencies to create new marketplaces and new models for global, inclusive commerce.”


The decentralization of e-commerce marketplaces is already beginning. People from over 120 countries around the world have set up stores on OpenBazaar and the software has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times since April 2016. Several other companies within the DCG family are working towards a similar goal – allowing users to put digital currencies like Bitcoin to practical use through earning and spending. With these tools users around the world can earn, store, and spend digital currencies conveniently and safely.


“OpenBazaar has seen steady growth since its launch just over a year ago.” Says Brian Hoffman, CEO of OB1. “The network represents important strides forward in peer-to-peer and blockchain technology and we are honored to have the kind of investment partners who also share our vision for bringing it to life. We are excited to continue to grow with them and share this marketplace with more users who will benefit from it.”


OB1 demonstrates their commitment to working rapidly within the emerging cryptocurrency industry by building & maintaining the current version of OpenBazaar as well as a major 2.0 version release and other applications due later this year. In September, the company will also be producing a brand new event called Crypto Is Currency Day to highlight use cases for digital currencies worldwide and encourage users to build network value by spending some of their coins.


OpenBazaar is the most secure, most private, and most liberating choice among e-commerce marketplaces because it exists without the need for any centralized authority or 3rd parties. Everyone can use it securely without restriction or fear. Users and fans can also join the great community behind this open source project via the OpenBazaar Slack group or by following the project on Twitter, Reddit, GitHub or the official website at OpenBazaar.org


Jenn Cloud, Marketing & Community Manager