Is eBay Acquiring Bonnabit Blockchain Solutions Or Are Rumors Just A Crypto Scam?

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


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UPDATE 4-3-24

Unsurprisingly, Bonnabit's website is down and their social media profiles have been deleted as this crypto scam unravels.

A victim of the scam reached out to provide Value Added Resource details about their experience.

"On Easter Monday, Bonnabit sent out an email stating they had closed the ICO round early by reaching their $9 million dollar funding goal and were doing a giveaway for all their investors. We were instructed to login to our accounts, click on the “claim airdrop” button and use wallet connect to connect to any wallet to receive funds ranging from $50-$5000 in ETH, BTC, or USDT.

As soon as I scanned the barcode to connect my wallet I started receiving pop ups on my Trust Wallet to confirm transactions. As soon as the first one popped up, i noticed it was for BNB and immediately clued in that I was getting scammed. I cancelled and disconnected my wallet. But it was too late. They had access to my wallet even after disconnecting and the next morning when I checked my wallet all my funds had been drained.

Hours after I had disconnected they somehow managed to process these transactions without my approval. I’ve looked online on various sites including YouTube, Reddit and X and anyone who claimed the airdrop and connected their wallet had the same thing happen.

What was odd was that I never received any notification to approve the withdrawal which I always receive. Whatever technology they used bypassed any security and drained my alt coin portfolio."

Apparently some people have still been receiving emails from Bonnabit about the full launch in a few weeks where users will be able to withdraw their Bonnabit tokens. That may be a second phase of the scam where anyone who tries to connect to withdraw their tokens will have their wallet drained.

Needless to say, users are advised not to attempt to withdraw tokens or engage with Bonnabit further to avoid additional losses.

UPDATE 3-30-24

A spokesperson for Etsy has confirmed the company has no relationship with Bonnabit. Value Added Resource is still awaiting comment from eBay and Shopify.


Rumors are swirling that a deal for eBay to acquire Bonnabit Inc could be in the works, empowering the legacy ecommerce marketplace with cutting-edge digital commerce and blockchain solutions - but is it a legitimate opportunity or just another crypto scam?

The possible acquisition has been reported by multiple cryptocurrency focused websites, though they do not cite a source for the news, simply saying that talks between the two companies are reportedly ongoing without any corroborating evidence.

Could there be any truth to the rumors?

eBay has been saying they're "exploring" accepting cryptocurrency, since at least as far back as 2013 when then CEO John Donahoe expressed an interest in Bitcoin.

It's also worth noting eBay was "all in" on Facebook's Libra initiative in June 2019, but reversed course and backed out by October 2019.

There have been many rumors since that eBay will enable the use of cryptocurrency to transact on the platform "soon", but so far none of those rumors have come to pass.

In fact, we saw a very similar hype cycle play out at the end of Q1 2022 and noted at the time that similar headlines had popped up around Q1 2021 as well.

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Bonnabit says it isn't just a token, it's an ecosystem that will "revolutionize the online shopping experience by leveraging cutting-edge blockchain technology, making both buying and selling simpler and more secure."

Crunchbase shows eBay, Etsy and Shopify as investors in Bonnabit's seed round in February 2023 and Bonnabit lists all three companies as "partners" on its website.

Who are your partners?
Our collaborative network comprises notable partners who are integral to our foundation and growth. These companies are Ebay, Etsy, Shopify, and Skrill—not only have invested in our venture but have also been steadfast supporters since our inception. For those interested in exploring more about our partnerships and the extent of their involvement, detailed information is readily available on Crunchbase.

However, Bonnabit could have added that information without the knowledge of these companies since much of the information found in Crunchbase is self-reported and may not be confirmed before it is posted publicly on their profile.

There are no other independently verifiable sources and at least one redditor says they were told by support at Shopify and eBay that they know nothing about it.

In my case. I asked on fb the ebay operator, and shopify. They dont know shit about this.. shopify said they'll look in to this and they came after 2 days with we didn't find anything Ebay said this : "Thanks for sharing those details with us! We'll ensure this is reported internally. If there's anything else we can help resolve on our end of things, please don't hesitate to let us know. We're here for you! " Soo idk

A recent patent filing shows that eBay is interested in blockchain solutions to fight fraud and scams with transparent, decentralized user authentication and authorization, but it's not clear if an acquisition like Bonnabit would be the best path forward for eBay to bring those solutions to fruition.

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eBay started dipping their toes into the NFT market in 2021, then went all in by acquiring KnownOrigin in 2022.

But the cryptoart bet has not paid off as eBay reportedly cut over 30% of the Web3 team in recent layoffs and the overall "high value, enthusiast buyer" strategy the company has pursued the last few years has come under increasing scrutiny, with Chief Business and Strategy Officer Stefanie Jay resigning in January.

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The KnownOrigin acquisition and overall Web3 efforts have so far been an embarrassing debacle for eBay, significantly contributing to the "expenses and headcount outpacing growth" situation that CEO Jamie Iannone cited as the reason for needing to layoff ~1,000 people just 2 months ago.

Investors were largely buoyed by eBay's Q4 2023 earnings report which heavily leaned on a pivot back to eBay's consumer-seller roots to support guidance for a return to GMV growth in Q3 0r Q4 and with both Iannone and CFO Steve Priest previously acknowledging a need for "cost-efficiencies" as the macroeconomic environment remains uncertain, an acquisition like Bonnabit would be a fairly risky gamble for the company at this time.

That risk is even higher as eBay is under particular scrutiny for their Mergers and Acquisitions due diligence, risk and disclosure practices as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice after being found criminally liable in connection to the 2019 cyberstalking of journalists Ina and David Steiner of EcommerceBytes.

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The deal hit eBay with a $3 Million fine and enhanced compliance monitoring requirements for 3 years, including a specific focus on M&A.

The scope of the compliance monitoring, coupled with a historic $59 Million settlement with the DEA and ongoing litigation brought by the EPA, suggests the Department of Justice and other Federal regulatory bodies may be concerned about a wide variety of business practices, opening eBay's entire operation up to additional scrutiny.

Those concerns may include apparent due diligence and disclosure failures in eBay's October 2022 acquisition of trading card marketplace TCGPlayer, which led to the formation of the first US labor union in eBay's history and the sudden departure of Chief Accounting Officer Brian Doerger last year, as well as broader questions about the significant strategy shift eBay has undergone with increasing in-house labor-centric authentication operations in the last few years.

The ongoing legal issues and increasing scrutiny of M&A due diligence practices were likely significant catalysts to Chief Legal Officer Marie Oh Huber announcing her departure and TCGUnion-CWA applying pressure to bring eBay to the table to settle Unfair Labor Practice claims.

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Acquiring Bonnabit would expose eBay even further to significant regulatory scrutiny at a time when they cannot afford it and when other signs are pointing to a strategic pivot back to a more stable, safe and proven business model with a broader focus on C2C selling.

Such an acquisition would be extremely risky and ill-timed and I do not believe it is at all likely to happen. Without further sources to back up the rumors, this is probably simply hype, if not an outright scam.

eBay, Etsy, and Shopify have not responded to requests for comment at time of publishing.

eBay

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!


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