Ebay: selling cryptocurrencies without a license?


Ebay’s online platform appears to offer unlicensed cryptocurrencies, including unambiguous scams and coins whose bid prices are out of all proportion to the current market price. Those responsible seem to be aware of this problem, but no effective steps have yet been taken.

Ebay, the world’s largest online marketplace, seems to have a massive problem with regulating its products on its own platform. Thus, completely unloaded crypto currencies are discontinued as goods and offered for sale. This is done in a variety of ways, such as offering paper purses or coupons that can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies. In total, several such offers are discontinued daily, which clearly promise the acquisition of crypto currencies via the Ebay platform.

This process is not only cumbersome and confusing, but simply illegal. In Germany, it is not permitted to operate financial services without a corresponding license. A corresponding license is issued by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and may cost between four and five figures, depending on the size of the financial services offered. If this license is missing – which is to be assumed by a majority of private individuals using Ebay -, there is a criminal offense according to § 54 KWG.

Apart from the fact that the mere offer and sale of cryptocurrencies without the device with the appropriate license is not allowed, the products offered generally lack any substance. For example, various cryptocurrencies are offered at a price far above the current price of the coin, as shown in the image section. The format of Ebay also allows no consideration of the hourly fluctuating price adjustments of the respective crypto currencies. It also happens that very obvious scams and nonexistent cryptocurrencies are offered for sale to exploit the ignorance of crypto-interested parties with a clear fraudulent intent.

Finally, the question inevitably arises about the role of Ebay in this story. Since these illegal and morally dubious offers remain undisturbed, this suggests that the platform is at least struggling to regulate the abuse of their own online marketplace for illegal purposes. Important basic principles such as the know-your-customer approach (KYC) are violated in this way. It can not be ruled out that the platform will be misused for money laundering purposes.

At the repeated request of Blockchain developer and BTC ECHO reader Michael Padilla, Ebay provided evasive answers. For example, it was reported that employees could not test everything, that they had already installed necessary filters, or that cryptocurrencies were simply very popular at the moment. However, Ebay does not seem to have found an effective antidote to cryptocurrency on its platform.