Canada’s Biggest Pension Fund Invests in OpenBazaar

OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of Canada’s biggest pension fund, has joined Bitmain miners in investing $5 million in a Series A fundraising for OB1, the company building OpenBazaar.

“OB1 allows individuals, living anywhere, to buy and sell as part of a truly global marketplace” said Jim Orlando, Managing Partner at OMERS Ventures, before adding:

“We are excited about the potential represented by OpenBazaar’s decentralized peer-to-peer protocol, and are thrilled about the various implementation paths that Brian and the rest of his team are pursuing.”

They are planning to launch a mobile version (pictured) after adding Bitcoin Cash and Zcash recently due to BTC’s very high fees.

We tested at the time the decentralized peer to peer marketplace, which now has some 40,000 nodes. And it has generally considerably improved, with navigation usually as good as instant.

However, it does still have some rough spots and appears to be listing many products that are already sold or are no longer selling.

The funding might assist in refining it further, just as it may assist in preparing for their token sale.

They are planning to launch OBT as a utility token for merchants to pay for premium listings or to be more visible in searches.

The aim seems to be to keep platform fees at zero, so potentially allowing them to compete with eBay and other listing marketplaces.

The news, however, did not go well in some parts of Bitcoin Core due to Bitmain being an investor. An OpenBazaar co-founder said in reply:

“This round was lead by Canadian pension fund OMERS, not Bitmain. Existing investors like a16z and USV were in the round as well.

You can dislike Bitmain and OB1 all you want, that’s your choice. But you can’t claim the dream of a decentralized marketplace with Bitcoin is dead; it’s more alive than ever before.

OpenBazaar 2 is built on IPFS, is Tor-compatible, and comes with a built-in Segwit wallet. We’ve seen tens of thousands of nodes on the network in recent months. Trade is happening, and it’s private, p2p trade with p2p money.

This funding ensures that the world’s only decentralized marketplace that’s actually being used is going to continue improving and growing.”

OpenBazzar is one of the oldest bitcoin project, but they’re moving with the times, adding new currencies, learning from ethereum’s ecosystem, and continuing to work towards a decentralized crypto economy.

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