eBay, the $39 billion e-commerce platform, is seriously
considering integrating Bitcoin into its platform as a payment
method. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, eBay Americas
senior vice president Scott Cutler stated that eBay is
“seriously considering” integrating Bitcoin.
Power of Bitcoin
Throughout the past 12 months, the stock price of Overstock has
increased by over 130 percent, triggered by the company’s
involvement in various Bitcoin and Blockchain technology
ventures. Several major conglomerates such as Japan’s GMO have also experienced a
rapid increase in their stock values subsequent to their
integration of Bitcoin.
It has become increasingly challenging for large-scale
conglomerates and financial service providers to dismiss
Bitcoin, because of its exponential increase in value and user
base. Currently, the total market valuation of Bitcoin and
other cryptocurrencies exceeds $500 billion. As such, major banks
like Goldman Sachs have started taking steps toward embracing
the digital currency also, with Goldman agreeing to clear Bitcoin futures
on behalf of their clients.
Cutler noted during the interview with Yahoo Finance “we’re not
quite there yet.” Despite this, eBay is apparently
demonstrating its optimism towards the digital currency. The
company is also effectively showing the public that they are
following the latest trends in finance.
High merchant fees
According to Bitcoin Fees, a transaction fee
predictor on Earn.com, the fastest and cheapest transaction fee
is currently 360 satoshis / byte or $13 per transaction.
Granted, the transaction fee of Bitcoin depends on the size of
the mempool. But, the size of the Bitcoin mempool has
consistently remained above 110 million bytes over the past few
Moreover, casual users and newcomers will not continuously
check the size of the Bitcoin mempool to come up with the
optimal satoshis per byte-based fee to pay merchants on eBay.
Without sufficient scaling and lower fees, users on eBay will
likely not pay for items with a fee of over $10.
Already, Steam has temporarily disabled its
integration of Bitcoin due to the increasing complaints about
high fees from its clients. The merchant and e-commerce
adoption rate of Bitcoin have slumped in regions outside of
Given the current state of the Bitcoin Blockchain, it is likely
that e-commerce platforms like eBay will only integrate Bitcoin
once secondary layer solutions are ready for integration, such
as Lightning Network. It is important to note
that second-layer scaling needs Segregated Witness (SegWit) to
operate, and the adoption rate of SegWit remains below 10
The adoption rate of SegWit could increase by large margins in
early 2018, upon the integration of SegWit by Coinbase and
Blockchain.info, two of the global market’s largest Bitcoin