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EBay considering accepting bitcoin as payment

Gabriel Scheare uses the world's first bitcoin ATM on October 29, 2013, at Waves Coffee House in Vancouver, British Columbia. Scheare said he "just felt like being part of history."
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Gabriel Scheare uses the world's first bitcoin ATM on October 29, 2013, at Waves Coffee House in Vancouver, British Columbia. Scheare said he "just felt like being part of history."

Ebay is now considering allowing customers to use bitcoin for payment for both eBay and PayPal, sources inside the company told CNBC.

The company hasn't yet made a decision, and is waiting for the regulatory framework to become clearer before it makes a final call, the sources told CNBC. Next month, eBay US and eBay UK will allow its customers to buy and sell bitcoins for the first time.

(Read more: PayPal is stronger with eBay: CEO)

A spokesman for eBay said: "The growth of alternative currencies like bitcoin have the potential to be disruptive technologies but they are all still in the early stages of development. We're closely following this area and look forward to seeing how it develops."

(Read more: Two Vegas casinos to accept bitcoin)

The company's interest in the digital currency is documented. PayPal's CEO David Marcus recently tweeted: "We treat BTC and any FX the same way. We're believers in BTC though."

Marcus isn't the only prominent tech executive who has publicly praised the digital currency.

On Tuesday, Andreesen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreesen wrote a piece called "Why Bitcoin Matters" in The New York Times. Andreesen's firm has invested over $50 million in bitcoin start-ups.

Not all e-commerce companies are as enthusiastic, though. Online retailer Amazon tells CNBC it has no interest in using the virtual currency.

"Amazon does not accept Bitcoin and has no plans to do so," said spokeswoman Julie Law.

While bitcoin isn't guaranteed by the U.S. Treasury or other governments, many merchants and retailers are now accepting the virtual currency.

In an interview Thursday on CNBC from Davos, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was cautious about bitcoin, saying the government needs to make sure the digital currency doesn't become a funding haven for criminals and terrorists.

(Read more: Lew: 'Incredulity' on bitcoin)

—By CNBC's Mark Berniker. Follow him on Twitter @markberniker.

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