Where the online marketplace industry is going now? And does it need decentralisation at all?

Cointelegraph spoke about the issues with Brian Hoffman, project lead at the fully decentralized marketplace, OpenBazaar, and Tone Vays, head of research at BraveNewCoin.

Brian Hoffman explains CT to what extent OpenBazaar has penetrated the mainstream and what will happen next:

Market penetration

Cointelegraph: Are the majority of OpenBazaar’s user base long-time online sellers or is OpenBazaar their first experience with selling?

Brian Hoffman: It's a mix really. We are seeing a lot of people just trying to sell for the first time because there really is no barrier to entry. It's simple and fast to get set up. For many users it's their first time earning or really spending Bitcoin.

CT: Have you seen much of a transfer of buyers and sellers from traditional centralized marketplaces to OpenBazaar?

BH: There are plenty who are trying OpenBazaar in addition to those marketplaces but still not a lot just completely switching. It's smart for merchants to be in many places if they can manage it.

Decentralized arbitration

CT: Do you think for some users, the fact that there is no centralized authority to resolve the inevitable issues that arise in an online marketplace, may be off-putting?

BH: It's actually been working pretty well despite any technical issues and the community is growing around this new shift to decentralized arbitration. It's not perfect but we are getting good feedback and we are adjusting the way it works accordingly.

Mainstream penetration

CT: What do you hope to change in the future to bring OpenBazaar into the mainstream?

BH: Our biggest hurdle is ensuring data for stores is available when a merchant goes offline. This is coming soon with IPFS and we hope to then spread to mobile and web versions. This will remove the desktop app requirement and bring a whole new set of users hopefully.

Unnecessary decentralization

Cointelegraph also spoke to Tone Vays, Head of Research at BraveNewCoin, who questioned whether the online marketplace industry is in need of decentralization at all:

"I do not believe that middlemen are evil so there are very few industries that require decentralization. Our biggest problems are regulatory and payment transfer, so as long as these issues can be addressed there is no need for the DAO hype as it will make most projects inefficient. Bitcoin will go a long way with making payment simpler and as long as the organization is providing a law compliant service or pushes back on current regulations to allow them to compete better, that is all we need to advance our economy."