Brian Hoffman is the CEO of OpenBazaar, which is a free and open online marketplace that allows anyone to start an ecommerce store and start accepting cryptocurrency instantly. We had the honor at CryptoMeNow to sit down with Brian and go over his thoughts about the current blockchain market and more.
1. Hey Brian, thanks for doing the Q&A. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re working on?
I’m CEO of OB1 and project lead for OpenBazaar. I live in Virginia and have been doing OpenBazaar for almost 4 years now and been in Bitcoin since 2012. Right now I’m mostly pushing forward developing OpenBazaar (desktop app, mobile app, web version, token work).
2. Why would an average e-commerce entrepreneur choose to use Openbazaar over something like Shopify or Magento?
I think a smart strategy would be to probably run both since OpenBazaar’s market share is still so small, but a huge advantage of using OpenBazaar over those options would be the ability to quickly and easily accept crypto for your store front and be able to do so for absolutely free. You don’t have to run a server or pay for a monthly account and there are no fees whatsoever for selling or listing your goods or services.
3. Blockchain is growing rapidly, what do you think is the future for blockchain technology?
I think there are a lot of potential use cases for blockchain technology, but overall I think it’s going to permeate into almost any tech related industry, in particular gaming, finance and commerce. The ability to quickly and easily transfer digital assets and content using a native to the internet currency will continue to grow and be incorporated into applications and games.
4. We’ve seen a huge rise in cryptocurrency and blockchain related products out in the market nowadays. What other products that you would like to see that isn’t already out there?
I will actually say that I think I’d rather see some of the existing ideas really improve and become more usable. There’s hardly a market where there isn’t at least one or two groups looking at using blockchain to improve it.
5. Do you invest in any crypto yourself? If so, what are your most favorite coins?
I play around with tons of coins, but don’t really invest any substantial amounts into anything other than Bitcoin, Ether, Monero, and a couple others.
6. What are some of your most favorite cryptocurrency and Bitcoin related products out in the market right now?
My favorite team right now is Protocol Labs. I’m also excited about the potential for lightning. I’m currently playing with Augur, crypto kitties and other digital asset trading platforms. Mostly trying to learn what works and what doesn’t. It’s still super early days.
7. You mentioned in a tweet that after 3 years of working on Openbazaar, you missed out on a lot of salary and potential opportunities. What drives you to stay motivated everyday for the last 3 years?
I really enjoy what I do, and I really love my team. We haven’t had anyone quit our team yet, which is one sign of how tight our team is and how dedicated we are to tackling the problem of decentralize ecommerce. Running your own company and working for yourself definitely has some great advantages over working for a large corporation as well.
8. What’s future roadmap for Openbazaar and Ob1?
9. What resources would you have for someone looking to get into the cryptocurrency space?
Here are a few I like:
Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas (book)
10. How can people contact you?
@brianchoffman on Twitter or firstname.lastname@example.org
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