Craigslist Just Made It Easier to Use Bitcoin

December 11, 2017, 3:24 PM UTC

The popular classified site Craigslist has quietly added an option that will make it easier for people to swap used cars, furniture, and other items for digital currencies like bitcoin.

The new feature, spotted by a blockchain news site, permits sellers to tick a box saying “cryptocurrency ok” to indicate they will accept it as payment. Meanwhile, buyers can restrict their search only to sellers who will accept digital currency.

Here is a screenshot that shows how the new option appears when placing an ad, followed by an example of a mattress owner who will accept bitcoin:

A quick review of the Brooklyn section of Craigslist revealed several dozen sellers willing to accept cryptocurrency payments. (In practical terms, most such payments are likely to be in bitcoin since it is by far the most common digital currency).

For users of Craigslist, which facilitates transactions between strangers, the new payment option—which involves transferring digital currency from one online wallet to another—may amount to a more secure option than using a check or exchanging a wad of cash.

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On the other hand, the fees to process a bitcoin transaction have climbed significantly this year, which is likely to make such payments less appealing. As such, it seems more likely Craigslist users wishing to avoid checks or cash will turn to another digital option such as Venmo or Apple Pay.

While online retailers like Overstock have accepted bitcoin payments for years, the number of such transactions has reportedly been declining, in part because of the rise in fees.

Craigslist hasn’t issued a public statement about why it added the new option, but its decision coincides with a wave of hype surrounding bitcoin, whose price has soared through the roof this year.