eBay Instructions on Crypto Embrace

  • Mar 08, 2022 at 12:32 pm
  • Bitcoin spent a fair amount of time in the spotlight last week as Russia stepped up its invasion of Ukraine, prompting some investors to consider the cryptocurrency’s status as a risk asset or a safe haven game. However, there is some other news about Bitcoin and the crypto world in general that investors might want to consider. Speculation is rising that eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) will soon announce that it will accept bitcoin and other digital coins as payment. “Speculation continues that eBay may announce an initiative to accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. CEO Jamie Janon said in a recent interview with TheStreet.com that eBay is exploring the possibility of adopting cryptocurrencies,” Eric Savitz told Barron’s. Rumors are piling up ahead of eBay Analyst Day on Thursday, March 10. If the e-commerce marketplace includes bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, the decision could have consequences for exchange-traded funds, including the Valkyrie Balance Sheet Opportunities ETF (VBB). VBB, which debuted last December, is an actively managed fund that offers exposure to publicly traded companies that have exposure to Bitcoin. “This may include companies that invest directly in bitcoin or have some of their assets reported in bitcoin, including companies that hold or carry out transactions involving relatively small amounts of bitcoin. The fund can also invest up to 20% of its net assets in companies that don’t meet the innovative balance sheet criteria above, but are active in the Bitcoin ecosystem, according to Valkyrie. While some investors believe that the only companies currently holding Bitcoin directly are miners, the reality is that the universe is expanding to include companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and fintech companies like Block (NASDAQ:SQ). And while eBay itself hasn’t confirmed that it will accept Bitcoin, or announced that it will keep the asset on its balance sheet if it accepts it as payment, an e-commerce company doing so makes a lot of sense. In fact, VBB owns stakes in Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK) and Latin American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI). Even if eBay splits the difference and accepts bitcoin as payment without considering it the subject of a potential assessment, VBB could benefit as eBay would increase the use of bitcoin in this scenario.