eBay Opens Its Doors To Bitcoin Trading
One of the advantages of virtual currencies like Bitcoin is that it does not have to be traded on any exchange like fiat currencies. Bitcoin exchanges are popular but so too is private sales between buyers, be it online or face-to-face. Similarly, it can be traded through classifieds sites and eBay is soon to allow virtual currencies to be sold on its UK website officially.
In fact, eBay UK is launching a dedicated category for Bitcoin and altcoins. The Virtual Currency category will allow buyers and sellers to trade Bitcoin and altcoins but eBay will not be functioning as an exchange. As of 10 February 2014, users of eBay UK can access the virtual currency category and eBay is currently updating is currency policy for this purpose.
eBay Now, Paypal Later?
It is not entirely surprising coming from eBay. Senior staff of the company has been positive and quite supportive of digital currencies recently. During an interview with the Financial Times in November 2013, the eBay president John Donahoe said that digital currency is going to be a “very powerful thing”. He even went as far as saying that Paypal, the popular online payment gateway owned by eBay, could someday accept Bitcoin.
Paypal is the giant in online money transfers and has no rival in terms of its user base. Should Donahoe’s statement become reality, the way digital currency is traded could be reshaped by one of the biggest and trusted names in online trading and money handling. The fact that eBay is opening up its platform to virtual currency has some hopeful that Paypal may follow suit sometime soon.
Overtaking The Competition
It is also a significant move considering that its Chinese counterpart, TaoBao, has banned all Bitcoin trading, even of mining equipment. eBay’s China wing was overtaken by TaoBao about 10 years ago and eventually eBay shut down its China website. With large online businesses in China getting jittery about Bitcoin payments, eBay’s move could either be revolutionary or premature.
There is no saying whether eBay’s move in opening up its platform to virtual currency trades will remain unchallenged by authorities. After all there is still no definitive stance about Bitcoin in an official sense in most countries across the glove. However, if eBay’s moves are left unrestricted then it will be a significant step for Bitcoiners and what some call the Bitcoin revolution.
Another Retail Victory For Cryptocurrency
Although eBay itself is not accepting Bitcoin payments, there is hope that this will occur soon seeing that online giant Overstock.com opened up to Bitcoin last week. Other major online retailers are expected to follow suit soon and while eBay may not be a traditional retailer, its hand may eventually be forced to accept Bitcoin payments by its massive user base.
It is no doubt an exciting time for Bitcoiners who use eBay. It opens the doors to Paypal payments. While some exchanges do accept Paypal deposits of funds and withdrawals, there is usually a long lag time to ensure that there is no risk of reversals on payments. Now that eBay is entering the fray, there is hope that this could mean bigger things for Bitcoin from the eBay stable and shake up in the way Bitcoin is being used and traded.