Why It's Important for Bitcoin if Bakkt and NYSE Owner Acquires eBay
The derivatives and equities trading company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange and Bakkt, reportedly made a takeover offer to e-commerce giant eBay, which doesn't seem to have borne fruit. Nonetheless, the Cryptoverse has been speculating what would such a takeover mean for crypto.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the takeover offer that would value the company more than USD 30 billion, compared to its current market capitalization of USD 29.7 billion. The report added that ICE approached eBay before, but that the two giants are not in formal talks.
ICE's statement followed promptly, saying that it did approach eBay "to explore a range of potential opportunities that might create value for the shareholders of both companies," but that "eBay has not engaged in a meaningful way. We are not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay," ICE concluded.
eBay's stock jumped 13.6% following this report, while ICE's (with the market capitalisation of USD 51.5 billion) dropped 7.47% in the past day.
The takeover would be unexpected as ICE is known for dealing with financial services and eBay with consumer goods. However, what would it mean for crypto?
ICE is already involved in trading and storage of digital assets, as it's the parent company of the U.S.-based physically-settled Bitcoin derivatives trading platform Bakkt. At such, it's certainly in ICE's interest to promote it and digital assets through any possible avenue.
WHOA.— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) February 4, 2020
The owner of the New York Stock Exchange is thinking about taking over eBay at a valuation of more than $30 billion.
This is the same company that realized the importance of Bitcoin enough to start Bakkt.
Would be incredible to combine NYSE, Bakkt, & eBay under one roof.
Financial Times writes that the company could use eBay to potentially build a "cyber currency trading platform," citing Brad Bailey, research director at capital markets consultancy Celent, who said that: “There is no limit to the potential for new derivative and data products. The future of the capital markets will be defined by new, effective ways of defining what a trading platform is and what it trades, whether in bitcoin, home decor or powertools.”
Furthermore, in times of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, stock exchanges and institutional investors may want to diversify their holdings. They might be prompted to include crypto by the legitimacy provided by these two giants, as well as by ICE's successes.
Some commenters online are wondering what'd be like having the option on eBay to pay in bitcoin (BTC), given that the platform has 183 million active buyers worldwide. Others, however, worried about possible centralization of crypto, as well as eBay's alleged inability to adapt.
That thought hadn’t crossed my mind but yes that would be great for the commerce arm of our ecosystem— Andrew Wertheim (@awertheim) February 4, 2020
If eBay uses bakkt to process bitcoin that might be enough for bitcoin to go mainstream— fuoime (@fuoime) February 4, 2020
Meanwhile, in May 2019, eBay, responding to speculation in the market, told Cryptonews.com that it is not allowing payments to be made in cryptocurrency and is not working on that option at all at the moment.