eBay recently held its annual shareholder meeting in San Jose. Afterwards, CEO Jon Donahoe held a Q&A session in which he was put on the spot about competitors, policies, and more importantly … Bitcoin.
Donahoe, who had just been re-elected onto the eBay board, is reported to have given a presentation to the board in which he reaffirmed by he believed ownership PayPal was still right for the company. Earlier in the year ownership of PayPal was fought by Carl Icahn, an investor in the company, who sought to have PayPal split off into a separate company.
Donahoe was also asked what he thought of Bitcoin, to which he replied “We think Bitcoin will play a very important role in the future. 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.” (According to eCommerceBytes).
On a side note, Donahoe was also asked about completion with Amazon, “We know they don’t care about profits, and you do. How do you compete? Donoahoe answered, “We are blessed with a business model that if we deliver for all our buyers and sellers, our marketplace produces profitability and cash flow,” said Donahoe. “So we don’t see it as a zero sum game with Amazon” (Source eCommerceBytes).
According to CoinDesk, Donahoe said he couldn’t yet see how bitcoin could become a mainstream technology, but suggested that eBay is considering using it: “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.”
eBay has already opened up limited support for bitcoin, in so much as adding a “Virtual Currency” category to its line-up. This section is for trading currencies and mining hardware (and contracts). However, this was not publicized by the company itself, and was only picked up in the online cryptocurrency press.