By Emily Spaven
The president of eBay has revealed that his company is preparing to expand the range of digital currencies it accepts.
In an interview with the Financial Times, John Donahoe even went as far to say that PayPal could, one day, incorporate bitcoin.
He said digital currency is going to be a “very powerful thing”, but said the ecommerce group is first going to focus on incorporating reward points from retailer loyalty schemes into its PayPal wallet.
Donahoe said using PayPal as a digital wallet will make it a lot easier for consumers to keep track of their reward points.
When asked specifically about bitcoin, he said eBay was not currently working on expanding its PayPal wallet to include the digital currency, but “we are watching it”.
This isn’t the first time someone at eBay/PayPal has indicated that the company is interested in bitcoin. Back in April, David Marcus, president of PayPal was asked by Bloomberg what his views are on virtual currencies, he said:
“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.
I think for us at PayPal, it’s just a question of whether bitcoin will make its way … as a funding instrument or not. We’re kind of thinking about it.”
Members of the online forum reddit had varied views on the significance of Marcus’ comments.
LyndseySimon said there were only two reasons Marcus would mention bitcoin on such a public platform: “[PayPal is] either very close to launch and wanting to generate buzz (unlikely), or they’re floating the idea to gauge response.”
However, -Mahn responded: “Maybe so, but nonetheless this was just an interview where the question popped and he spoke his thoughts at the moment. It’s great he feels positive about Bitcoin, but we shouldn’t read too much into it just yet.”
What do you think about Marcus and Donahoe’s comments? How long do you think it will be before PayPal integrates bitcoin?