EBay.com president Devin Wenig has stated he is “very open” to Bitcoin and that eBay “will probably experiment” with the digital currency in the future.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Weng explained that PayPal’s current activities in the space would be mimicked due to the companies’ “long-term” ongoing cooperation. He said:
“Both eBay and PayPal are open to [Bitcoin]—PayPal is experimenting with it—and through our relationship we’re likely to do the same. I am very open to it.”
The declaration comes as the future of the eBay-PayPal relationship is in planning following the split earlier this year. Wenig makes it clear that corporate reshuffles are aimed first and foremost at “preserving and creating value for today’s eBay Inc. shareholder” and that a complete divorce from PayPal would not achieve this.
“The separation has got to provide continuity of the relationship; that’s all being worked out,” he stated. “PayPal is going to be the dominant payment provider on eBay for a long time and we want it that way, and the separation will ensure that it is that way.”
While Wenig did not disclose how potential eBay “experimenting” could manifest itself, the desire for increased Bitcoin activity is in itself an encouraging statement. EBay CEO John Donahoe’s previous comments suggesting both companies’ integration of Bitcoin would be inevitable furthermore seem to be holding true.
Whether eBay is simply representing PayPal’s perspective on the issue is a factor to be considered, but Wenig at the same time does not mince his words.
“Alibaba’s top of mind right now because of the IPO, but there are tons of startups and an evolving retail, brand and marketplace environment that makes this probably among the most competitive industries around,” he added.
He is similarly unfazed by Amazon’s presence, stating that any mimicking of services such as Amazon Prime would be as a result of customer feedback. “Whether or not our customers want a shipping program remains to be seen,” he responded.
PayPal introduced limited Bitcoin integration via a merchant opt-in scheme in September. The feature came in partnership with major payment processors BitPay and Coinbase, as well as GoCoin, which also facilitates transactions in Litecoin and Dogecoin.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency is also seeing auction-style opportunities emerging in various forms such as CoinCola, a Hong Kong based operation allowing online trading for considerably lower fees than popular fiat-based alternatives, as well as OpenBazaar, which has been dubbed as the decentralized offspring of Ebay and Amazon.
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