Programmer and bitcoin enthusiast Amir Taaki and a team of other developers created the prototype of a decentralized marketplace, entitled "DarkMarket", in April 2014 at a Toronto Bitcoin Hackathon. DarkMarket was developed as a proof of concept in response to the seizure of the online marketplace Silk Road in October 2013. Taaki compared DarkMarket's improvements on Silk Road to BitTorrent's improvements on Napster.
Soon after DarkMarket was revealed at the hackathon, developer Brian Hoffman forked the project and renamed it "OpenBazaar", which continues to receive active development as of June 2015. OpenBazaar, like DarkMarket before it, was initially licensed under the GNU AGPLv3, but after a discussion by the developers it was relicensed under the MIT license on September 8, 2014.
- Greenberg, Andy (2014-04-24). "Inside the 'DarkMarket' Prototype, a Silk Road the FBI Can Never Seize". Wired. http://www.wired.com/2014/04/darkmarket. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Hern, Alex (2014-04-30). "Silk Road successor DarkMarket rebrands as OpenBazaar". The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/30/silk-road-darkmarket-openbazaar-online-drugs-marketplace. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- Zindros, Dionysis (2014-09-08). "OpenBazaar is now MIT licensed". OpenBazaar Blog. https://blog.openbazaar.org/openbazaar-is-now-mit-licensed/. Retrieved September 16, 2014.