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“The internet needs an open and free marketplace that allows buying and selling, using the money of the future: cryptocurrency. OpenBazaar is giving us a compelling answer to the question, ‘Where do I spend my Bitcoin?’ and this new release 2.0 gets us closer than ever to where peer-to-peer e-commerce is headed," said early OpenBazaar investor William Mougayar.

Each node, in this case, is a person running the OpenBazaar software on their computer at any given moment.

Version 2.0 of OpenBazaar now allows its users to keep their stores open even when they are offline. 

Until its release, the platform’s nodes were much like Bitcoin nodes. Once a device running its node would go offline, it would no longer be visible on the network.

Now that it allows for offline store data retention, the network is self-perpetuating, and users no longer need to keep their computers running and consuming electricity just so that they can sell their products.

Since there is no central authority auditing the network itself to filter the products sold on it, some stores sell illicit merchandise. 

After scrolling through OpenBazaar, we were able to confirm that some stores sold prescription medicines like Adderall and illegal drugs like marijuana, although in all fairness they were in the minority. Most of the shops we found were selling original comic books, fan art, T-shirts, and electronics.

The presence of illegal items like those we found in OpenBazaar and in other decentralized markets where cryptocurrencies are used to purchase items has prompted MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga to say that digital currencies’ “lack of transparency” would lead to “all the illegal activities in the world.”

As markets like OpenBazaar grow, its real test is going to be whether it can keep running as it is now without the hammer of the law coming down on it as it did when Silk Road—a deep web marketplace in which drugs were often sold—was seized by the FBI back in 2013.