Bitcoin certainly won’t be going away anytime soon, and it seems like everyone has an opinion about it. Some say the technology is more than just a currency, while others have relegated it to the role of a payment processing system, perhaps something to compete with eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)’s PayPal. So do eBay or its subsidiary PayPal feel threatened by it? Not at all. In fact, eBay’s CEO embraces it.
Bitcoin to play key role in PayPal
Speaking on CNBC‘s Squawk Box, eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) CEO John Donahoe said he thinks bitcoin will play an “important role” in PayPal. He said they will have to integrate bitcoin and other digital currencies into the payment platform at some point, although he declined to say exactly when they will do that. Donahoe spoke about the advantages of the currency and said that he owns some not because he sees it as an investment opportunity but rather, because he wants to have a better understanding of “how it can be used.”
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Specifically, he said he wants to learn how bitcoin will allow people to “exchange value seamlessly using technology.”
eBay director Andreessen on bitcoin
Marc Andreessen, who sits on eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY)’s board of directors, has advocated for bitcoin for quite some time. He said he’s still investing in the digital currency and emphasized that his firm, Andreessen Horowitz, is a venture capital firm, so they can afford to “take these kind of extreme bets.” He noted that his investment in it isn’t guaranteed to work but said he believes that it is “important and very valuable.”
In addition to the investment aspect of bitcoin, Andreessen noted that there is a technology that’s entirely separate from its value as a currency. He said the technology platform it provides is “incredibly valuable.”
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has criticized bitcoin, saying he isn’t a believer, but Andreessen thinks he’s wrong about it.
“I think if he took the time to study it, he would easily be able to wrap his head around it,” Andreessen told CNBC. He added that he has no idea if Buffett would ever buy it, but he thinks the issue for Buffett is that he just doesn’t understand bitcoin.