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eBay bans auctioning of Bitcoin currency

23 January 2014 - 10:43 by Mike Price

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Digital crypto currency, Bitcoin, has been hitting the headlines in the past couple of months thanks to its stratospheric rise in value, as well as the trials and tribulations it is facing when it comes to achieving wider acceptance.

It may encounter a new problem next month, after online auction giant, eBay, revealed that it would no longer allow sellers to try and get people to bid on the currency through its in-house marketplace, according to the Guardian.

The ban on Bitcoin sales will be put in place from the 10th of February and is specifically targeted at the British market, so it will be interesting to see whether the site continues to allow its international customers to trade after this date.

The point to keep in mind here is that Bitcoin sales are not banned completely, but rather the auction process will not be an option. Instead, eBay will still enable people to sell the currency through its classified ads section, along with a number of other emerging virtual currencies.

The main reason that eBay is reluctant to let people auction Bitcoins on its site is that once a transaction using this currency has been carried out, it is not possible to reverse this, unless of course the recipient decides to return the coins they have received of their own volition.

The implications for fraud might make this an issue and compromise the level of safe shopping online that eBay is able to offer.

While some e-commerce outlets have made Bitcoin payments possible, this is still a very volatile and young currency, which may or may not have a long term future, so big companies like eBay are perhaps rightly cautious at the moment.

For most consumers, shopping online with stable domestic currencies is the best option for the time being.