EBay says open to accepting to cryptocurrencies in future, exploring NFTs


FILE PHOTO: An eBay sign at an office building in San Jose, California, May 28, 2014. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

(Refiles to correct CEO name in paragraphs 5 and 8 to Iannone; Corrects typographical errors in paragraphs 1, 3 and 4)

(Reuters) -EBay Inc is open to the possibility of accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment in the future and is looking at ways to get non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on its platform, the company said on Monday.

A growing number of companies have begun to accept virtual currencies as a form of payment, taking an asset class that had been shunned by major financial institutions a few years ago, a step closer to becoming mainstream.

Tesla Inc is already accepting bitcoin as payment for its electric cars, while payments giant PayPal last year started allowing customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies using its online wallets.

"We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it (cryptocurrency) is something we are keeping an eye on," eBay said in a statement to Reuters.

In an interview with CNBC, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Iannone said that accepting virtual currency was an option the company was looking at.

EBay, which disappointed investors with a weak second-quarter profit forecast last week, said it was looking at a "number of ways" to get into the NFT space.

NFTs, a type of digital asset that exists on a blockchain, have exploded in popularity this year, with NFT artworks selling for millions of dollars and musicians such as the Kings of Leon rock group embracing them for their latest album.

"We're exploring opportunities on how we can enable it (NFTs) on eBay in an easy way," Iannone said on CNBC.

"Everything that's collectible has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades."

(Reporting by Uday Sampath and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)

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