eBay CEO: We Are 'Actively Considering' Bitcoin Integration

eBay president John Donahoe indicated yesterday that integrating bitcoin with PayPal is a real possibility.

AccessTimeIconMay 14, 2014 at 4:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:45 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

eBay CEO John Donahoe told shareholders at the annual meeting in San Jose, California, yesterday that the company is “actively considering” integrating bitcoin with PayPal.

When asked by a shareholder about bitcoin’s potential role in global trade, Donahoe responded by saying that the digital currency “will play a very important role in the future”, eCommerce Bytes reports.

While Donahoe said he couldn’t envision exactly how bitcoin could become a more mainstream technology, he suggested that eBay is considering direct involvement with the digital currency, saying:

“Exactly how that plays out, and how we can best take advantage of it and enable it with PayPal, that's something we're actively considering. It's on our radar screen."

Evolving stance

This is not the first time that Donahoe has commented on the company’s interest in bitcoin. Last year, the eBay CEO stated that a bitcoin payment option may eventually be added to PayPal.

Yet the new statements are more positive than the ones made last year. In 2013, Donahoe said eBay was “kind of thinking about” integrating bitcoin, suggesting that the company was investigating the digital currency:

“I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at it and it’s truly fascinating. The way that the currency has been designed and the way inflation is built in to pay for miners and all of that is truly fascinating.

Interestingly, Donahoe’s latest comments were made on behalf of the company, rather than from a personal perspective. It remains to be seen how – and when – eBay approaches the topic of bitcoin integration in the near future.

Donahoe isn’t the only executive involved to voice his support for bitcoin. Last year, PayPal president David Marcus remarked that he is a fan of the digital currency and said that he, too, thinks a bitcoin option could one day be added.

Existing engagement

Despite not integrating bitcoin as a payment option, eBay has already seen some digital currency activity on its site.

In early April, the online marketplace added a “Virtual Currency” category. The section allows users to buy and sell digital currencies, mining hardware and mining contracts.

Notably, the company did not actively advertise the new category's addition, instead quietly modifying an existing section.

eBay has also moved to create a new digital currency payment system, which would include bitcoin as one of several options, according to a patent application filed by the company in December 2011. It is also developing a digital wallet designed to hold multiple types of currency.

Donahoe image via Wikipedia


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.