More and more companies around the globe are starting to accept virtual currencies as a form of payment, with one of the biggest e-commerce platforms dropping a hint that it could be about to make the leap. That’s right, leaked eBay ads from Consensus 2019 hint that the e-commerce giant could be about to dive into the crypto world. There are still a number of questions to be answered about how it will work – especially given the fact that eBay is a marketplace with vendors.
— wolf (@ImNotTheWolf) May 12, 2019
What Could This Mean?
While it’s nice to live in a dream world where eBay allows users to pay in Bitcoin and other cryptos natively, the reality of that happening is rather slim. As eBay’s platform full of individual merchants, price movements in crypto could end up with these merchants making a massive loss should the price of crypto fall from the moment they list the item for sale. Conversely, merchants could also be overcharging customers should prices rise. This means eBay is likely to employ the help of a third party that will accept crypto and pay merchants in fiat. Stand out solutions that eBay is likely looking at includes the likes of BitPay and UTRUST.
Other Sites Going Down This Route
If we learned anything from Fancy – an upmarket version of eBay – when it comes to accepting crypto, it has to be through one of these third-party providers. Last year, Fancy ditched Coinbase after it changed its payment platform to not convert crypto to fiat. It moved over to BitPay, which allowed Fancy to add acceptance for a range of new cryptos while paying out merchants in fiat. This is likely to be the road we see eBay going down, and while it’s not a native solution, BitPay is a reputable and market leading product.
PayPal Setting the Precedent
PayPay was acquired by eBay back in 2003, and since then it has been a guinea pig for new ideas. At Consensus, PayPal’s CFO John Rainey admitted that PayPal had created blockchain research teams, but it’s still a long way off accepting crypto. These research teams could very well be the same teams advising eBay on which cryptos it should accept and how best to accept them.
The ads on show give us a brief insight into the future of eBay, but not enough to make us want to rush out and stock up on tokens just yet. It’s great to see more companies moving to accept cryptos, especially those that are the size of eBay.