What’s the Latest Development?
The online commerce giant eBay is considering accepting the virtual currency Bitcoin. The retailer would use its Paypal payments network to exchange the currency online for goods and services. Chief executive John Donahoe said that because the currency is a disruptive innovation, eBay was looking at it closely. “Integration into PayPal’s network would give Bitcoin some much-needed legitimacy. Accepted by few retailers, the currency is held mostly by speculators hoping to profit from price fluctuations, which have been particularly volatile in recent weeks.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Unheard of just a few years ago, virtual currencies are gaining legitimacy with official organizations, public and private. “Within the next five years, Bitcoin or other virtual currencies, such as airline miles, could be converted to cash and used in retail, Donahoe said. … Last month the U.S. Treasury Department said it will apply money-laundering rules to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, meaning firms that issue or exchange the increasingly popular online cash will be regulated in a manner similar to traditional money-order providers.” There are other virtual currencies on the market, one which allows users to pay for pizza deliveries.
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