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OpenBazaar Bitcoin Marketplace Announces $3-million Funding

OpenBazaar, the open source bitcoin marketplace, has announced additional funding of $3 million, as it continues to develop the hotly anticipated technology.

Driven by bitcoin transactions, the startup marketplace matches buyers and sellers in a decentralized framework, which the developers hope could become an alternative for online marketplaces in future.

The company behind the technology, OB1, said the investment would help it realize the potential of OpenBazaar as a free, decentralized platform for global trade.

“After launch, we were so excited to see how people have been using OpenBazaar, and with this new funding we’re confident it will allow us to bring the benefits of truly free and open trade to the world,” OB1 CEO Brian Hoffman said.

The announcement comes off the back of an earlier $1-million investment in the firm completed last year, which helped OpenBazaar move from testing to an official launch back in April. So far, the service has been used in transacting goods as diverse as marijuana seeds and holiday accommodation, as it continues to gain in popularity by the day.

The funding round was headed up by Berlin-based BlueYard, marking the latest signal of intent from the venture capital firm. With a track record of supporting decentralized technology around bitcoin, the latest hookup could see the biggest move yet from the investment firm into backing blockchain technology.

With the funding in place, OB1 is working on the launch of OpenBazaar 2.0, which it hopes will take the market even more into the mainstream, along with methods of integration for the Tor network, which could be a major growth opportunity for the company.

The announcement marks the conclusion of a strong year for OpenBazaar and OB1. But they are not alone, with the wider industry enjoying a significant boost in support and profile over 2016. Moving into the new year, it is expected that the decentralized ledger and blockchain could be in for another strong 12 months, as more investors back startups.

At the same time, moves from governments, central banks and other institutions to adopt blockchain technology, buoyed by an increasing number of startups in the field, look set to ensure the distributed ledger will continue to play a prominent role across sectors in 2017.