(ANTIMEDIA) — Bitcoin news site Blockexplorer News discovered last week that Craigslist quietly added a new option allowing sellers to specify that they accept cryptocurrency as payment. A seller just has to click the new “cryptocurrency ok” box when posting an ad on the widely-used classified site to let potential buyers know they will gladly accept digital currencies in exchange for used furniture, cars, electronics, or any other goods they’re looking to unload.
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The new feature works both ways, also allowing buyers to filter search results to display only sellers accepting cryptocurrency.
The crypto option will undoubtedly make transactions safer for both buyers and sellers, as cryptocurrency exchanges take place on the blockchain, reducing the risk of falling prey to criminals using the platform as a way to choose their targets. Although Craigslist has not commented publicly on safety issues since a Congressional hearing in 2010, according to the Washington Post, industry watchdog and analyst Advanced Interactive Media Group disagrees.
“Their attitude is, ‘We’re safe, we have billions of safe transactions’ — sure they do,” said Peter Zollman, the founding principal of the AIM Group. “But every single day, there are also rapes, robberies and murders linked to Craigslist. And that is a serious issue.” As of May 2017, the group tracked 112 deaths related to Craigslist. Without the need to physically hand over cash, this danger will likely be greatly reduced.
As opposed to PayPal, which can be used to scam vendors on Craigslist with reversed transactions, cryptocurrencies are irreversible and transactions are viewable on a public ledger.
In addition to being safer and more convenient, the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies provides the user with a high level of security if used correctly. For tips on how to keep your digital currency secure, click here.
The Craigslist crypto option is already being widely-used, with search results from New York and Los Angeles showing thousands of sellers willing to accept digital currency. The classified ad company is no doubt responding rapidly to increasing interest and usage of cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, which reached 18k last week and as of this article’s publication is currently valued at $16,423.