You’ve probably used this site at least once in your life. You stumbled onto the site because you wanted to participate in an online auction or because you wanted to buy something outright. You probably found something for a lower cost than you would expect too. eBay, that’s right, eBay, one of the biggest e-commerce transaction players on the market, who is currently in the midst of pondering whether they want to integrate bitcoin payments or not into their system. eBay, which has owned sites like Craigslist, StubHub, and others and has a current market capitalization of over 30 billion, would be a prominent addition to the crypto space.
Fixed Pricing or Competition?
Scott Cutler, the Senior Vice President of the eBay Americas, recently did an interview with Yahoo! Finance and stated that they were seriously considering the integration of the pioneer digital currency. He went on further to emphasize that they are only in the research, analysis, and decision-making stage, not necessarily in the green light stage, yet.
The addition of bitcoin would, of course, add more exposure to bitcoin, getting more transactions of the currency in their eBay system, contributing to it’s growing strength in the marketplace. The e-commerce giant has not made any moves in the past to integrate the currencies and so does not offer the option now, it has instead, used PayPal as their payments platform. PayPal, another giant in the payments space, still processes a significant portion of the transactions that take place on the eBay platform and will be doing so exclusively for the near future, even though it has spun out of eBay.
eBay only accepts traditional methods of payment like your Discover, Visa, and other credit and debit cards. If eBay integrated bitcoin, it would be interesting to see how they deal with new fluctuation in pricing as they currently have to deal with various exchange rates with the many currencies that flow through their platform.
Cryptocurrencies could actually simplify and make their lives easier for the most part.
Issues with cryptocurrency usage
It may seem like a good option overall, but how many users will elect for this option? When you conduct a transaction on eBay via PayPal, you are able to get the backing of both the eBay and Paypal in being able to get your money back. Customers love this aspect, in disputes, the person on the buy side is usually going to be able to get the ruling in their favor and eBay and PayPal will work to get the customer their money back.
In the case of cryptocurrencies though, the buyer can make a complaint on the ratings system and work with eBay but will eBay give their full faith and backing in a cryptocurrency transaction event?
Possibly. Possibly not. But customers want to have certainty, they don’t want to be screwed over. This is what keeps them coming back and ties the whole eBay ecosystem together, the trust that the platform provides.
The volatility of the virtual currency is also a problem. Sellers want to make sure that they have some certainties when they are engaging in a transaction. First, they want to make a profit, and they want to know how much profit that they will be able to make when selling. They know that they have to compete with others and have to price and source accordingly. They may not want to deal with having received their asking price in a cryptocurrency, only to find that the value of it has declined, thus decreasing the purchasing power of the seller.