eBay Inc (EBAY) CEO John Donahoe Thinks Bitcoins are Important

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eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO John Donahoe has told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin that he thinks bitcoins have a place in the future.

According to Sorkin, the eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO has hinted “quite heavily” that his company may soon accept the digital currency as an authorized currency for their site. Sorkin is quoted as saying:

“I think there’s no doubt [that]digital currency is going to play an important role going forward. At PayPal, we’re going to have to integrate digital currencies into our wallet.”

Asked directly how soon PayPal may adapt the use of bitcoins, Donahoe did not commit to a specific timeline. However, he did say that he believes people are going to see bitcoins being used more and more, starting from peer-to-peer transactions until businesses will adapt the digital currency. Because of this, he noted that his team at eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) will have to pay attention to bitcoins. The CEO also admitted to owning some bitcoins.

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Sorkin then asked the CEO what he thinks the digital currency should be worth. Donahoe responded by saying that he is not buying bitcoins as an investment. Rather, he bought bitcoins to understand how they can be used. He added that there are two sides to bitcoin: the investment side and the digital currency side. The CEO said that he is more interested in the digital currency side and how people can exchange value seamlessly using technology using digital currencies.

Sorkin said that he has observed people he has talked to recently to be genuinely interested in bitcoins. He noted that these people truly believe that the digital currency is not a “fly-by-night thing” He added that very big companies are really interested in bitcoins.

Meanwhile, Donahoe also touched on the current feud between Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the Hachette Book Group. Asked about the concentration issue brought up by the current spat between the e-commerce giant and the publisher, the eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO remarked that this is a great question. He added:

“What eBay represents is opportunity for small sellers. That’s what eBay is made up of. We aren’t a retailer ourselves. We don’t compete with our sellers. We don’t use scale against them, we give them the benefits of scale. eBay, from its very beginning, took entrepreneurs, took business businesses, [and]now also some large businesses, and [gave]them an equal playing field to reach 140 million buyers around the world.”

Noteworthy investors in eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) includes Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital Lp with 27.8 million shares as of the end of March. Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management also owns 11.39 million shares in the internet commerce giant. Donald Yacktman’s Yacktman Asset Management has 8.22 million shares in the company with a value of about $454.12 million.

Disclosure: None

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