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Blockchain-powered online marketplace OpenBazaar has secured $5 million in funding from its successful Series A funding round, according to reports emerging today.

The platform, which is the brainchild of blockchain tech firm OB1, allows peer-to-peer ecommerce running on a distributed, decentralized blockchain ledger, reducing transaction fees to zero while providing a mechanism for traders to do business without the need for a bank account.

According to the firm’s press release confirming the news, the funding round saw contributions from investors including OMERS Ventures and Chinese mining group Bitmain.

In addition to the funding round, the firm plans to launch an initial coin offering later in the year, offering initial tokens for sale that can be used within its platform ecosystem, as a means of raising capital from a more diverse group of investors.

The funding from both the Series A round and the forthcoming ICO is expected to be used to help develop the OpenBazaar platform, as well as bringing their model to a wider audience. The firm also anticipates launching new features, such as a verified moderators program, which is expected to be launched later this week.

“Our plans for this year include releasing web and mobile versions of the application, as well as giving users new ways to trade with each other, such as making requests and buying and selling cryptocurrencies.”

OpenBazaar already supports bitcoin and Zcash cryptocurrencies. Their own token will ultimately help close the gaps, and will be designed for use in relieving some of the issues currently facing merchants and customers transacting on their platform.

CEO Brian Hoffman identified several ways in which the token could assist the development of the OpenBazaar network, to make it more user-friendly in future.

“You have this massive amount of content that people are just dumping onto the decentralized web or into OB ... And there’s no Google there to clean it up and serve it up nicely and organize it.

“I think our first step is to look at how a token could allow merchants and advertisers to create compelling content and help build businesses.”