On Tuesday, Andy Shroder posted on Reddit that eBay Inc. had removed his merchant listing because he accepted bitcoin for his products.
The auction website told Schroder, a solar energy researcher and solar panel manufacturer, that bitcoin does not qualify as a payment method due to “two key factors” — security and safety, and ease of use. EBay sent Schroder an email saying:
"Please understand that you mentioned you accept ‘Bitcoin’ as a method of payment. Some online payment companies are fairly new and inexperienced and they do not provide sufficient fraud protection to members. When we review payment methods to determine whether they are allowed on eBay, two key factors that we consider are ‘Security and Safety’ and ‘Ease of use.’ Please do not offer this payment method."
According to eBay’s policies on bitcoin and virtual currencies, it restricts merchants from using bitcoin for settling payments. Two years ago, eBay actively delisted products any time a merchant even remotely mentioned bitcoin.
The Bitcoin subreddit community responded to eBay’s actions with such comments as, “OpenBazaar will eclipse eBay eventually. Decentralization is better than centralization.” Others commented on how most large corporations and platforms are hostile towards disruptive technologies. One redditor wrote:
“Not surprising. For whatever reason, in the face of disruptive technologies, legacy companies often seem hostile or passive-aggressive. In the short term it makes sense, because they can't currently make any money with the new stuff. In the long term, it makes no sense at all, because established businesses have the resources to build new infrastructure to integrate new tech, so they could make money from it.”
2013 Integration Hopes
In 2013, eBay CEO John Donahoe had said the e-commerce giant wanted to integrate bitcoin on Paypal so users could purchase items on eBay with bitcoin.
"It’s a new disruptive technology, so, yeah, we’re looking at bitcoin closely. There may be ways to enable it inside PayPal,” said Donahoe in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
A PayPal spokesperson also said around that same time, "As the company that created the online payments category over a decade ago, PayPal knows how hard it can be to manage payments globally in a regulated environment. Closely following this area and look forward to seeing how it develops."
- John Donahoe