Interest in bitcoins — the virtual money circulating around the Internet — is beginning to pick up steam.
CEO John Donahoe says only that the company is exploring options concerning bitcoins. “It’s a new disruptive technology, so, yeah, we’re looking at Bitcoin closely,” Donahoe says. “There may be ways to enable it inside PayPal.”
Donahoe is quick to point out that eBay is not yet committing to the digital money. As with Napster, Donahoe said, the first time these concepts pop up, they often fail but make way for more legitimate versions later. He pointed to Pandora and Spotify as examples.
Still, bitcoins are gaining in popularity. Just last month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it will be applying money-laundering rules to all virtual currencies, including bitcoins. That places bitcoins under the same regulatory rules as money orders and checks.