It is becoming increasingly common to see some online sellers accepting cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a method of payment on sites such as Trade Me - but this comes with a warning.

Jon Duffy, Head of Trust and Safety at Trade Me, said while the site did not allow the sale of Bitcoin or any other digital currency, sellers could still choose to accept it as payment, although it was "not without risk or controversy".

One of several services on Trade Me offering Bitcoin as a payment method. Photo / Trade Me
One of several services on Trade Me offering Bitcoin as a payment method. Photo / Trade Me

"We don't endorse it as a payment option for transactions made on Trade Me, however, some members may choose to transact via Bitcoin when they're wheeling and dealing, [for example] a transaction for a car advertised via a classified listing," Duffy said.

"People doing this should make sure they understand the risks involved."

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The digital currency, founded in 2009, is unregulated and has its fair share of sceptics.

Under Trade Me's safety section, it says the restriction on the sale of digital currency was due to concerns about people getting a fair deal and until these currencies matured, they could not be listed.

"We're keeping an eye on how cryptocurrencies evolve," Duffy said.

"There are a few out there in the market, including Bitcoin, but they're all a little early in their development cycles for us to take the plunge and enable them as payment methods on Trade Me.

We'll review our position down the track, especially if one of the available cryptocurrencies gets wider uptake in New Zealand and some of the volatility we have seen in the underlying value of these types of currencies eases the risk to our community around these potential payment methods."

Current auctions listed as accepting Bitcoin payment included a number of services, phones, technology and a Porsche 911 for $155,000 - or payment by Bitcoin.

This Porsche 911 could be yours for a few Bitcoins. Photo / Trade Me
This Porsche 911 could be yours for a few Bitcoins. Photo / Trade Me

A number of current listings are adverts for Bitcoin services, including several offering to buy and sell the currency.

A Trade Me spokesperson said although the site did not allow the sale of digital wallets it did allow services connected with the infrastructure to be advertised, for example storage and encryption.

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