EBay Inc. has written a new policy on virtual currency sales, set to go into effect for U.K. customers in early February.

"The updated policy will clarify that listings for Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies must be listed in the Virtual Currency Category in the Classified Ad format," says Steve Heywood, a spokesman for eBay UK. EBay is issuing the update to "promote a trustworthy marketplace and ensure compliance with applicable regulations," he says.

The category dedicated to virtual currency selling will be available on Feb. 10 in the U.K., Heywood says. At least one user reported receiving a policy violation letter from eBay on Jan. 16 over a listing of virtual currency.

"This is a new policy, and previously we did not have a specific policy in this area, as we do not for many products," Heywood says. "This is first implemented on eBay.com and now the U.K."

Some sellers have posted listings for collectable physical silver or gold coins with the Bitcoin symbol on them, though these do not necessarily represent a transfer of funds.

However, some listings are for Casascius coins, which come with a bitcoin balance stored in a private key under a tamper-evident hologram. Casascius recently halted operations after receiving a notice from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, saying the company is subject to the department's oversight.

On Jan. 12, Casascius announced it would resume selling coins, but it will mostly sell coins that do not carry any funds (it will sell funded coins on a limited basis in Utah).

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