eBay, owners of payment service PayPal, has quietly added a new Virtual Currency category to their sales site, allowing users to sell virtual currency like bitcoin, as well as miners, and mining contracts.
The category is sparsely populated right now and the listings are all classified ads, suggesting that eBay wants buyer and seller to hash out their sale outside of the company’s jurisdiction, thereby reducing risk of become liable for scams and fake sales.
The company has been moving into digital sales over the past year but has long held a no-nonsense policy against digitally downloaded items. One listing for dogecoin, for example, notes that the cryptographic keys to the currency will be sent, presumably on a thumb drive or hard copy, via USPS or UPS rather than via email, something eBay has long frowned upon.
The category is so scattershot and clearly new that there is no telling just how this will change eBay’s policies towards digital items. Considering bitcoin is a direct competitor to PayPal and recent patent filings have shown eBay is working towards a type of cryptocurrency for its users, it makes sense for them to test the waters in this way. I’ve reached out to eBay for comment and will update when they respond.
UPDATE – eBay writes:
eBay has updated their currency policy to reflect this change.