is integrating the
(IPFS) into their decentralized online marketplace. While no
official announcement about this move has been made, OpenBazaar
, who is currently working on the IPFS integration, has shared some
of the details related to this change with
According to Pacia, the main advantage of integrating IPFS into
OpenBazaar will be the increased availability of storefronts.
Currently, a store operator must maintain his or her own server at
all times or pay someone else to do it.
What Is IPFS?
IPFS is a hypermedia distribution protocol that enables the
creation of distributed applications. The team behind IPFS is
creating a peer-to-peer file system that can be accessed by all of
the computing devices in the world. The brains behind this new
protocol, Stanford graduate
that IPFS allows people to create websites and web apps with
no central server. He added, "They can be distributed just like the
Bitcoin network is distributed."
What Are the Advantages of IPFS for OpenBazaar?
Since OpenBazaar is a marketplace with no central server, IPFS
appears to be a solid option for hosting storefronts.
Pacia agrees with this sentiment. He told
, "The main advantage is data will become more distributed and most
of it should be viewable even if the originating node is
Pacia went on to describe the current issues with OpenBazaar
when it comes to opening and operating a store on the network:
"We have a situation now where you have to fetch store data from
only one person, and if they have a slow or buggy connection (or if
they get attacked), then you can't access that data, despite
potentially hundreds of other users having that data from a
Essentially, IPFS will allow OpenBazaar users to connect to
specific stores via many other peers who already have that data
rather than just the owner of the store.
everything you download which makes the data much more permanent.
It also provides a more robust
implementation than what we have written, and it's better to spend
our resources collaborating than trying to maintain our own."
Many early users of OpenBazaar have complained about having to
operate a server 24/7 to keep their stores "open" on the network,
which is why the removal of this requirement has been a top
priority for the development team behind the project.
Layering Anonymity on Top
Other commentators have
may be the best option for OpenBazaar, but it appears the network's
developers have no intention of going in that direction at this
time. Pacia noted, "I don't know [enough] about Freenet to comment
on it. But what attracts us to IPFS is its scalable approach to
Although OpenBazaar launched without native support for
anonymizing networks such as
, OpenBazaar project lead
the development team's dedication to privacy.
"Anonymity can be layered on top of [IPFS]," Pacia told
. "It won't be too much work to enable
to connect to each other."
OpenBazaar's support for IPFS is not strictly theoretical, as
code related to this change is already
available on GitHub
Kyle Torpey is a freelance journalist who has been following
Bitcoin since 2011. His work has been featured on
VICE Motherboard, Business Insider, NASDAQ, RT's Keiser Report
and many other media outlets. You can follow