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eBay Is Exploring NFTs and Possibly Crypto Payments

The effort is part of eBay's long-standing focus on collectible items.

eBay Is Exploring NFTs and Possibly Crypto Payments
Shutterstock photo by JHVEPhoto

Key Takeaways

  • EBay is exploring the possibility of adding non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or cryptocollectibles, to its platform.
  • To a lesser extent, it is also considering crypto payments.
  • E-commerce sites have become a hotspot for cryptocurrency, as Shopify and Newegg both embrace the technology.

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E-commerce site eBay says that it is exploring the possibility of adding NFT support, according to an interview with CNBC.

EBay Is Considering NFTs

“We’re exploring opportunities on how we can enable [NFTs] on eBay in an easy way,” eBay CEO Jamie Iannone told CNBC.

When asked how long it could take to enable NFTs, Iannone noted that users are already selling NFTs with physical components on eBay. As such, the company’s efforts are largely an attempt to make the experience simpler and more streamlined.

EBay’s decision to explore NFTs appears to be closely related to its long-standing focus on collectible items such as trading cards. “Collectibles are a core category,” Iannone stated. “We’ve already done a billion dollars in GMV in the first quarter and that’s more than we’ve done in half of all of last year’s record setting levels.”

NFTs or “cryptocollectibles” are a special form of cryptocurrency token that can be minted in limited editions, making this type of product a good fit for eBay’s original business plan.

“Everything that’s collectible has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades,” Iannone noted.

He added that eBay is assessing new forms of payment. On whether eBay could accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, Iannone stated that the company has “no immediate plans” to accept cryptocurrencies but is nevertheless “keeping an eye on” it.

E-Commerce Is Doubling Down On Crypto

The news comes weeks after several other events related to cryptocurrency took place in the e-commerce sector.

In February, rumors emerged about a possible digital currency from Amazon, though it is still not clear whether that digital currency will be a blockchain-based cryptocurrency.

Meanwhile, two companies that already support crypto are expanding their efforts: Shopify is exploring Ethereum DeFi integration, while Newegg has added Dogecoin to its list of payment methods.

Finally, payment companies such as PayPal have decided to integrate Bitcoin trading and payments, while Mastercard and Visa have plans to handle stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies. In this light, eBay’s move into NFTs is a natural course of action.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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