Ebay is exploring NFT auctions and crypto payments

Are we expecting a chain-reaction wave of e-commerce websites offering NFTs on their platforms?

Major online marketplace eBay will be pursuing crypto payment options for its customers along with exploring ways to introduce nonfungible tokens on the platform.

In an interview with CNBC today, eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said the company will “continue to look” at payment options like crypto. In addition, he said eBay will be “exploring opportunities” to enable nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, on the platform “in an easy way,” comparing the digital offerings to collectibles.

“One of the great things about eBay is when there’s a new trend, it just shows up on eBay,” said Iannone. “That’s what we’re seeing in areas like NFT, which we’re looking at how can we explore that better.”

The CEO said parts of NFTs were “already transacting” on the platform now but eBay had not yet simplified the process for buyers and sellers. Some users are also able to list Bitcoin (BTC) for sale on the platform seemingly without eBay specifically sanctioning such auctions. 

Executives at the online marketplace have previously hinted that eBay could be open to accepting crypto payments. Three years ago, a senior vice president at the firm said eBay was “seriously considering” integrating BTC into its platform as a payment method.

The platform also partnered with PayPal to facilitate payments prior to the payments provider announcing it would allow crypto trading last year. The firm is slowly transitioning from using PayPal to e-commerce firm Adyen. As of the first quarter of 2021, eBay has roughly 187 million active buyers.

With a relatively large customer base, companies such as Amazon and Alibaba are likely to jump on the NFT train before it leaves the station. Alibaba has already invested in Bitmark project, which provides solutions for property rights with blockchain. Despite not being an e-commerce project, we can already sense that Alibaba is dipping its hands in usage-rights on blockchain.

Stay tuned for more updates about the e-commerce giants involvement in NFTs and crypto.

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