On February 10th, world renown retailer eBay, will allow its UK users to sell off virtual currencies. A category on the sites classifieds section will be created for users who want to buy and sell the digital coins such as bitcoin and litecoin.
eBay’s classified ads section is the sites answer to the popular Craigslist site. eBay allows buyers and sellers the freedom to connect directly with one another, but has no affiliation with the transactions.
eBay Manager of Business Communications Ryan Moore, said:
“To promote a trustworthy marketplace and ensure compliance with applicable regulations, eBay is currently updating its Currency Policy. The updated policy will clarify that listings for Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies must be listed in the Virtual Currency Category in the Classified Ad format. The Virtual Currency category is expected to be available on the UK site on February 10th.”
A Reddit post from early yesterday morning sparked rumors of policy changes to come. The post included an email from eBay stating the company currently does not permit listings of virtual currencies, but that this will change over time. The email states:
“Please know that per our recent policy update, Virtual Currency (i.e. Bitcoin and Litecoin), whether digitally or physically delivered, cannot be listed in Auction-style or Buy-It-Now listing formats. eBay is opening a Virtual Currency category to allow the sale of virtual currency in Classified Ads format on February 10, 2014.
We request that you do not list these items until that date. Please be informed that repeated breach of the policy may further jeopardize your account status. To avoid any inconvenience in future, we’d appreciated it if you go through our help pages or contact us before listing any such items.”
For now, this policy pertains for UK eBay users. One customer service representative was quoted saying:
“Our policies are different for different country sites, so to know more about other countries, you need to contact the respective eBay sites.”
This past December, an eBay user discovered a loophole that enabled him to sell digital coins on the site. He confirmed via customer service employees from eBay that these currencies could be sold on the auction site, provided they are housed in physical objects, such as USB sticks or hard drives.
Both John Donahoe president of eBay and president of Paypal David Marcus have a positive outlook on the growth of bitcoin and its place in their companies. Donahoe has called bitcoin a “very powerful thing”, while Marcus calls it “truly fascinating.”
Whether or not eBay will begin to accept bitcoin is still uncertain. However what is clear is that with a world-wide customer base of 233 million and a revenue of over $14 billion in 2012, doing so would allow digital currency the mainstream push it needs to reach its maximum potential.
Image Via eBay.co.uk.