Nearly one year ago, the OpenBazaar project began via a DarkMarket fork. On Tuesday April 21st, the fourth beta of the decentralized OpenBazaar marketplace was released for Linux and Mac OSX users. According to the release blog post, binaries for Windows users will be “released soon.” Unlike many anonymous dark net markets, OpenBazaar does not allow listing illicit items.
The 0.4.0 beta release includes networking improvements, multi-signature improvements, stability fixes, and other new features. Port forwarding is no longer required in most cases, making initial setup easier for users. New features include a start up walk through, internal messaging, and avatar selection. Multi-signature improvements include notary control over refunds and notary fee support for completed orders.
For Linux and Mac users, obtaining and running OpenBazaar requires Git and terminal access. On many Linux distributions, the configure script installs additional dependencies automatically. A full tutorial for the 0.4.0 beta may be found on the OpenBazaar blog.
If you are planning on testing OpenBazaar during it’s beta stage, there are many warnings to heed from the welcome page. Users are not anonymous at all, with their IP tied to all actions. Using OpenBazaar through an anonymity network such as Tor is impossible due to the market’s UDP dependence. Bitcoins, product listings, and reputation may also be lost due to bugs or future software changes. Due to the potential for bugs, the OpenBazaar development team recommends smaller transactions only for testing purposes.