Video Of The Week: Q&A With Brian Hoffman of Open Bazaar

Our portfolio company OB1 launched the Open Bazaar p2p decentralized marketplace protocol recently. Here’s a video where OB1 founder Brian Hoffman explains what Open Bazaar is and why they built it.


Comments (Archived):

  1. LE

    In a peer to peer network where people are selling things, it seems to be somewhat of a benefit to allow some sellers to have their IP exposed as opposed to hiding it. (In other words when the option to hide an IP address is added default setting could still be to show the IP address. Even though IP address changes (by broadband connection) I’d feel more comfortable knowing there was some kind of a trail (again depending entirely on the transaction) simply because you aren’t dealing with a company in the legacy sense. Noting that sellers are always able to know who they are dealing with unless the end user goes to the trouble of hiding that IP (which is not that typical). I have found that info to be helpful in preventing fraud.

    1. fredwilson

      And there is gonna be a lot of fraud in a p2p decentralized system

      1. Sriram Yadavalli

        Basically, fraud elimination would be one of the key features that a discovery service on top of Open Bazaar would address. Lot of room to provide value on top the open source protocol. Very similar to how Chrome and Safari were built on top of Webkit, but Chrome offered better/safer search experience and gained market share.

      2. William Mougayar

        But that’s where the trusted escrow services come in, with multi sig implementations. That’s a key feature of OpenBazaar.

    2. William Mougayar

      Buyers and sellers will have reputation scores over time, so it will guide transactions.It’s like Airbnb who couldn’t function without their elaborate information sharing to build reputations. Hosts make decisions based on that.

  2. LE

    Brian’s revenue model would be similar to if ,when Microsoft had DOS, Microsoft gave away the DOS code (snowball’s chance) and instead operated the entire ecosystem that evolved helping people and companies use DOS (up to and including running COMDEX). So their involvement in fostering the project is simply a loss leader for being able to help others involved at some point down the road if the userbase gets large enough.

  3. LE

    The interviewer asks good “talk to me like I’m 5 years old” questions.She correctly assumes that viewers have no idea what this is at all, and breaks it down in plain english questions, like your aunt or uncle would ask you who aren’t tech. More people should be doing this type of interview (at least up to the point that I have watched so far).By the way with ebay what I have found is the killer (for people doing nominal transactions) is not the fees but the friction and time it takes to fully understand the transaction and what is needed to post and sell (pictures, descriptions, understanding various options that they give you and so on). Time consuming. Ebay once sent me a concierge “we will take care of this for you” [1]The best ebay arrangement I had was when a relative came to my office, picked everything up, photographed, wrote the descriptions and posted and then sold [2][1] Right before they were spinning off and they wanted to get the numbers up is probably the reason” and even understanding that took to much time and effort (I had plenty of things to sell at the time.[2] They took 50% which included all ebay fees.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      Once did this for classmates with their used books.

  4. pointsnfigures

    most interesting thing to me is not the bitcoin part, but how OB will enable all kinds of people to access their inner entrepreneur.

  5. Perry Ismangil

    At some point someone will build an Etsy for OpenBazaar vendors, providing discoverability, store hosting and moderation facilities.So aren’t we back where we started? Vendors are beholden to a market provider?