eBay is considering introducing bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as payment methods on its platform.
This was explicitly stated by the company’s CEO Jamie Iannone during an interview with CNBC‘s “Squawk on the Street” programme, in which he described eBay’s first quarter results.
Moreover, a spokesperson for the same company told Reuters:
“We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it (cryptocurrency) is something we are keeping an eye on”.
Iannone told CNBC that the company is keeping a close eye on all new trends, such as NFTs, and is considering adding new payment methods, including cryptocurrencies.
In particular, he focused on the collectibles market, which is one of the most active on eBay, where the use of NFTs is becoming very popular.
“Everything that’s collectible has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades”.
Given that the majority of non-fungible-tokens are issued on the Ethereum network, with smart contracts interacting with ETH, it is more than fair to expect that if the NFT market is opened up, eBay should be practically forced to integrate ETH as a form of payment as well.
It would thus make no sense not to integrate bitcoin, or other widely used cryptocurrencies, so what Iannone said seems very plausible.
How to spend bitcoin on eBay
As of today, anyone wishing to spend cryptocurrency on platforms such as eBay must do so using a debit card that can be funded with cryptocurrencies, but which processes payments in fiat currency with automatic and immediate conversion. Such cards incur costs, and the conversion is done at the market price of the cryptocurrency used at the time of payment.
A similar system is also used by PayPal, which already allows cryptocurrency payments to US users with automatic and immediate conversion to fiat.
However, the direct use of cryptocurrencies would remove these limitations, allowing those who own them to spend them directly from their wallet.
If a giant like eBay decides to enable cryptocurrency payments, it is to be expected that many similar or competing sites will follow suit, perhaps even Amazon sooner or later.