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PayPal to Start Accepting Bitcoin as payment

Ebay PayPal will begin taking bitcoins, opening up the world’s second-biggest Internet payment network to virtual currency deals.

“We’re announcing PayPal’s first foray into bitcoin,” Bill Ready, the chief of EBay’s Braintree unit, said at Techcrunch’s Disrupt SF conference yesterday. “Over the coming months we’ll allow our merchants to accept bitcoin. On the consumer side it will be a sleek experience.”

EBay, the world’s largest online marketplace and owner of a global payments company, is easily the most substantial business thus far that’s accepted bitcoin. The move may potentially allow PayPal’s 152 million registered accounts to handle utilizing the virtual currency, spurring broader use and acceptance of bitcoin, as outlined by Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

“PayPal integrating bitcoin into Braintree is a very substantial development,” Luria added. “Not only will it make it possible for some of the fastest-growing apps to integrate bitcoin seamlessly, it opens the door for PayPal to integrate bitcoin into its main wallet functionality. If that happens millions of retailers will de facto be accepting bitcoin overnight.”

Braintree offers payment abilities on sites and in mobile apps including mobile car-booking service Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., the short-term home rental service for travelers. EBay acquired Braintree for $800 million in cash this past year to grow its mobile-transactions company. PayPal and Braintree works with bitcoin payment-service supplier Coinbase Inc. to allow payments in the virtual currency, Ready explained.

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