In an interview hosted by CNBC, eBay CEO Jamie Lannone disclosed that the e-commerce platform is exploring how it could viably integrate crypto payments and NFTs (non-fungible tokens).
"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 is something we are keeping an eye on," Lannone stated.
Adoption for cryptocurrency as a payment method is on the rise in recent months, with top companies such as Coinbase and PayPal integrating further by offering crypto payments and purchases on their respective platforms. Prior to PayPal’s announcement that it would allow crypto trades on its platform, eBay has also partnered with the payments firm to help facilitate payments.
eBay is now transitioning out of PayPal with a new payments processor, Adyen, after working through PayPal for the past years as its operating agreement with PayPal expired last year. PayPal was formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay after its acquisition in 2002, it later spun off as a separate business in 2015.
On the matter of non-fungible tokens, the firm says that they are still in the process of researching how NFTs could be integrated into their platform in ‘an easy way’.
“One of the great things about eBay is when there’s a new trend, it just shows up on eBay,” shared Iannone. “That’s what we’re seeing in areas like NFT, which we’re looking at how can we explore that better.”
eBay has admitted that certain types of digital assets such as NFTs and even Bitcoin (BTC) were already present on the platform, albeit in an unregulated and unofficial capacity. Users are able to list BTC sales on the platform, and NFT sales are also possible. However, for the platform to integrate these, it would have to integrate with a proper NFT marketplace, or make its own.
"Everything that's collectible has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades," Iannone added.
Crypto payments on the platform would require additional engineering for its backend, aside from the systems that are already in place. This move to the mainstream comes as major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum reach new all-time highs in a bullish market that’s been going on for about a year’s stretch to date. To date, eBay serves over 190 markets with more than 187 million active users.
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