You know that your cryptocurrency of choice is gaining mainstream traction when it starts appearing on the world’s biggest auction site: eBay has just added a virtual currency section, enabling buyers and sellers to trade Bitcoin, Dogecoin and other variants on the network. You can also trade shares in mining operations and mining contracts.
The change was first spotted by Coindesk, and it brings the U.S. site into line with eBay in the UK, which has had a virtual currency category since February. You can’t use Bitcoin or Dogecoin to pay for your goods yet, but it’s a step in that direction. As with the UK site, buying and selling virtual currencies must be done via a classified ad rather than the tradition auction or Buy It Now formats — that means the buyer and seller need to sort out the payment details between themselves.
eBay is of course the parent company of PayPal, one of the businesses that cryptocurrencies are trying hard to disrupt. Indeed, the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission described Bitcoin as a “potential competitor” to PayPal earlier this year. Executives from both eBay and PayPal have previously gone on record to say they are interested in integrating digital currencies into their platforms, though nothing official has been announced as yet.
As always, tread carefully when making any kind of deal across the eBay platform — checking item specifics and seller reputations is a must, particularly where classified adverts are concerned. While it appears that there are one or two kinks to be worked out, it’s another major step forward for the fledging virtual currencies.