Cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide thoroughly enjoy the OpenBazaar protocol. Being able to buy or sell anything with Bitcoin through a peer-to-peer marketplace protocol serves a great need in the Bitcoin ecosystem. A new beta client for OpenBazaar 2.0 has been released and is nothing to sneeze at. It boasts some major changes that will improve the original concept and add new functionalities that were requested by users. Below are some of the most important changes in OpenBazaar 2.0.

3. Offline Stores and Orders

One of the downsides of OpenBazaar is how users have to be online at all times in order for their store to be visible on the network. Although it is rather easy to run OpenBazaar on a VPS or cheap computer, the 2.0 version beta includes offline store support. All information about one’s store will now be distributed on the network. Even with the application turned off, customers can still check out the goods and services offered for sale. This is a much-needed feature.

The same concept also applies to checking one’s open orders. Customers can now place orders for items or services offered for sale through a store even when the vendor is offline. If a vendor fails to respond within the allotted time frame, the money will be swept back to the buyer without any problems. This is another great feature which a lot of OpenBazaar vendors and customers will thoroughly enjoy. Offline functionality for an online marketplace simply makes sense for all parties involved.

2. Third-party Search

Finding something specific on OpenBazaar can be rather tricky as well. The early version of this protocol had no direct search feature built in. We have seen various third-party services pop up over the past few months, all of which scour OpenBazaar listings for items and services people may be interested in at some point in the future. This functionality is now officially supported within the OpenBazaar framework.

Users can use multiple third-party OpenBazaar search engines to find what they are looking for. Those users who prefer additional privacy or anonymity can use some of these engines over the Tor network, as Tor integration is part of OpenBazaar 2.0 as well. Users can run their own OpenBazaar nodes exclusively on Tor or in dual-slack mode. That is another very welcome addition to this decentralized marketplace protocol.  

1. Bitcoin SegWit Support

Perhaps the biggest change of all is how OpenBazaar 2.0 will handle payments. Bitcoin will continue to be the only payment method for now. However, altcoin support is on the team’s to-do list as well, though no specifics have been revealed at this point. It only makes sense to integrate additional currencies as this protocol matures. After all, cryptocurrency has become so much more than just Bitcoin these past few years.

However, this update introduces a big change in the way Bitcoin payments are handled. OpenBazaar 2.0 supports Bitcoin transactions over the SegWit protocol. Moreover, this will be the default payment method for all transactions taking place through the beta client and the final version of OpenBazaar 2.0. It is good to see the team openly supporting SegWit, as we direly need more SW-capable transactions on the Bitcoin network. So far, those transactions have been somewhat difficult to come by. With this new OpenBazaar update, that situation may come to change sooner rather than later.