We believe the answer is “YES”.
We believe that cryptocurrencies will turbocharge online marketplaces during the next 10 years. For this reason we believe companies that have planted a cryptocurrency flag will look to acquire online marketplaces which can be “crypto-enabled.” Thus, we peg the probability of an EBAY sale in 2020 at 80%. Intercontinental Exchange (tkr: ICE) agreed not to pursue an EBAY deal last week after being rebuffed by the company.
Who may acquire EBAY? Private Equity has plenty of capital to deploy. Facebook (tkr: FB) becomes more of a natural buyer after its Libra cryptocurreny initiative launches. We believe Libra will launch despite prospective partners such as Mastercard (tkr: MA) and Vodafone backing out.
Online marketplaces will enjoy new revenue streams as cryptocurrencies are introduced. Cross-border payments, FX and transaction volume growth from new users are examples of how online marketplaces can benefit from adopting cryptocurrencies.
Exchange operators have dipped both feet in the water. While ICE has its Bakkt Bitcoin initiative (consumer adoption is the goal for 2020), CME Group (tkr: CME) also has a Bitcoin initiative around options and futures. Stay tuned, it’s only the first inning in the crypto game. Plenty of time to be a fast follower.