WATCH: A gift exchange is coming to Chicago.
It is the second year in a row that Chicagoans will be able to buy and sell items online.
The first time was last year when the Chicago Tribune reported that the city had begun accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) have approved a pilot program that will allow residents to exchange goods and services in digital form for bitcoin.
The CBOT will offer bitcoin-accepting businesses a place to sell their products and services for a fraction of their regular price, while the CHA will sell the bitcoins at a markup.
The exchanges are expected to operate in a phased fashion, and the CBOT is planning to expand the program into more retail locations later this year.
Bitcoin is gaining traction in the digital economy and has become a way for small businesses to transact with their customers.
Last year, Coinbase, a company that helps small businesses exchange money, raised $20 million in venture capital.
The move comes amid heightened scrutiny from Congress, including a recent hearing on virtual currency.
“We’ve seen the price of bitcoin rise,” CBOT Commissioner Julie R. Wright said in a press release.
“There is a lot of momentum.
This is a very important development, because it will help small businesses that may not be able at the moment.”
The CBOT said it will hold its first bitcoin conference in December and that the CHAs program is one of many to support bitcoin adoption in the city.
“I think it’s a good way to help start the discussion,” Wright said.
“It will help create a lot more awareness and more understanding around bitcoin, and people are interested in getting involved with the technology.”