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eBay CEO talks Bitcoin: “PayPal Will Have to Integrate Digital Currencies”

Last Updated April 20, 2023 5:15 AM
Guest Writer
Last Updated April 20, 2023 5:15 AM

a colorful sign that says ebay in front of a buildingJohn Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay Inc. was talking about his company’s future with digital currencies on CNBC . In the interview, he once again offered positive words about the future of technological advancements in money.

‘I think there’s no doubt digital currency is going to play an important role going forward, and at PayPal, we’re going to have to integrate digital currencies into our wallet.’

Ebay’s outlook has been positive, yet cautious and hesitant. In order for eBay to integrate Bitcoin may take a lot of changes and that may be the reason for the slow progress in comparison to TigerDirect, Overstock, and now the biggest company to accept Bitcoin, Dish Network.

‘I can’t give a specific time, but I think you’ll see bitcoin used in different use cases, whether it’s a peer-to-peer use case, a cross-border transaction – someone’s sending currency to someone else, and over time, you’ll start to see it with some merchants accepting bitcoin.’

In the past, eBay has been consistent in providing a solid platform for merchants for around the world and in 2011, they filed for a patent to accept ‘virtual currencies.‘ In April, eBay began opening up categories for Virtual Currencies as well. Offering a chance for international markets to integrate Bitcoin would be a huge boon to merchants, customers and eBay.

“What ebay represents is opportunity for small sellers. […] eBay, from its very beginning, took entrepreneurs, took small businesses, and now also some large businesses, can give them an equal playing field to reach 140 million buyers around the world.”

The interview itself was in and of itself a way to measure just how far Bitcoin’s acceptance has come. While Donahoe supported Bitcoin and even said that he owned it and was interested in its potential as technology, CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin, who was interviewing him, made comments that suggest his misunderstanding or blatant ignorance of the matter.


John Donahoe:

‘For me, I’m not buying it as an investment, I’m buying it to understand how it can be used. I think there are two sides of it: The investment side and then the digital currency side and I’m more interested in the digital currency side about how you and I can exchange value seamlessly using technology.’

Andrew Sorkin, in a more skeptical tone to fellow anchors:

‘I gotta tell you, I don’t know if it’s Stockholm Syndrome or what, but everybody that I talk to out here [in Silicon Valley] […] really does talk about Bitcoin as the next big thing. And they believe it.’

This is a big step, for sure. The closer eBay and PayPal come closer to accepting and integrating Bitcoin, the easier it will be for similar sites and services to facilitate Bitcoin as a legitimate currency. PayPal itself is has a huge reach in payment processes across the nation. These quotes are actually a huge step from last year’s comments made by Mr. Donahoe. In April of last year, he said to the Wall Street Journal :

‘It’s a new disruptive technology, so, yeah, we’re looking at Bitcoin closely. There may be ways to enable it inside PayPal.’

At that time, Bitcoin was only reeling in the post-Cyprus media exposure. In January of 2014, CCN wrote that PayPal’s future acceptance of Bitcoin would not be to far away. Today, thanks to this video and ECB monetary policy, Bitcoin has taken measurable and amazing leaps forward. It is no longer PayPal Vs. Bitcoin; it is now PayPal and digital currencies. No specific time has been set, though.

Featured image by Shutterstock.