Craigslist, one of the most popular online classifieds platforms in the world, has just quietly rolled out a new feature that makes it easier for users to swap goods such as cars, used furniture, electronics, or household goods for digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
The new feature was rolled out without an official announcement, and allows individuals listing items to check a box stating “cryptocurrency OK”, indicating that they will accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method. It’s now also possible for buyers to restrict their searches for items that are sold only by individuals that accept cryptocurrencies.
A quick glance at the Brooklyn Craigslist reveals hundreds of sellers that are already making use of this new feature. It’s likely that most of these sellers are accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, as it’s currently the most common, valuable, and popular cryptocurrency.
Craigslist was created with the intent of allowing strangers to sell and buy goods with one another. In some cases, the highly secure nature of cryptocurrencies may be far safer than using checks or exchanging wads of fiat currency.
The new “cryptocurrency OK” feature is welcome news to individuals that frequently purchase high-value goods with hard cash via Craigslist. There have been a spate of recent cases in which US police departments have exploited civil forfeiture law to seize large amounts of cash from individuals with no justification.
Since 2007, the DEA alone has seized more than $3 billion USD in cash from individuals that have not been charged with any crime, making carrying cash around a risky business. Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General, announced in July of this year that civil forfeiture laws would be expanded.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, however, are completely immune to this kind of seizure, and can be verified in minutes, making them the ideal alternative to high value cash purchases.
Craigslist has not yet released a public statement regarding their new feature, but it could foreshadow a potentially groundbreaking move for the platform should it begin to integrate cryptocurrency as a fully-fledged payment option.