International online shopping platform eBay has quietly added facility to trade in virtual currencies.
eBay’s Virtual Currency category will allow trading of virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, etc. Additionally, the platform will even allow buying/selling of miners and mining contracts. The platform isn’t highly populated right now and all the listings are mere Classifieds. eBay currently wants all trades to take place in the physical world, conveniently out of the company’s applicable jurisdiction.
The company’s updated Currency Policy now reads,
“To promote a trustworthy marketplace and ensure compliance with applicable regulations, eBay updated its Currency Policy in February. The updated policy clarifies that listings for Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies must be listed in the Virtual Currency Category in the Classified Ad format. In terms of mining gear and mining contracts, those can be listed as auction or Buy It Now.“
eBay currently owns and operates PayPal, a highly effective and successful online payment processing company. The company’s CEO John Donahoe had in the past expressed his desire to integrate Bitcoins as payment instruments into the PayPal payments network, reported CoinDesk. Moreover, Wall Street Journal had reported Donahoe saying “It’s a new disruptive technology, so, yeah; we’re looking at Bitcoin closely,” “Virtual currency is something that’s here to stay” he added.
The Classified Listings are quite elementary and crude, which mandate sale of cryptographic keys to the currency via physical media or any other hard–copy via reputed courier service like USPS or UPS. eBay will not condone sending the currency (which is generally in the form of these encryption–decryption keys) via any digital pathway like e–mail. Though the company did allow sale of other digital content in the past, it had a middle–agent to ensure authenticity.
Coincidentally, Bitcoin could very well be a direct competitor to PayPal as eBay’s recent patent filings revealed the company was working towards a type of crypto-currency for its own users. Hence, it may surely appear that the company is trying to adjudge the viability of the market as well as test how well the trade of virtual currency can bring in revenue.
Currently there is a lot uncertainty surrounding these forms of virtual monies. Governments around the world are divided as how to classify the same, though the US’s IRS as well as that of Japan’s Finance Ministry gave fresh lease of life to Bitcoin by treating as ‘Commodity’. With eBay now allowing sale and trade, will these currencies benefit?
[Image Credit | eBay]