PayPal has formally indicated that its merchants may now begin accepting bitcoin as one of their integrated payment methods.
In a filing at the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) published today, the company details its future as a separate entity from eBay, a split which is due to occur by the end of 2015. In discussing its innovations, specifically Braintree, PayPal definitively mentions “digital currencies such as Bitcoin” as an official tool for merchants to use.
The extract from the extensive filing reads:
“A merchant can typically open a standard PayPal account and begin accepting payments through PayPal within a few minutes. Most online or mobile merchants can onboard quickly and are not required to invest in new or specialized hardware. Our Payments Platform supports growth with a variety of value-added services designed to help businesses of all sizes manage their cash flow, invoice clients, pay bills, and reduce the need for merchants to receive and store sensitive customer financial information. For our standard service, we do not charge merchants setup or recurring fees. A merchant can also integrate with Braintree to begin accepting payments with credit or debit cards, PayPal, Venmo, digital currencies such as Bitcoin, or other payment solutions with a single integration.”
PayPal added that the tools such as Braintree, a mobile payments platform jointly partnered with Coinbase, BitPay and GoCoin, “are designed to help merchants increase the conversion rate of consumer purchases on their websites and mobile applications.”
The official statement comes as little surprise in and of itself, with PayPal having hinted at Bitcoin integration in one or more forms since August 2014 when news of the Coinbase partnership broke. A private beta of the service was made available in January 2015 with Coinbase confirming on its blog:
“After working closely with Braintree over the past few months, we are excited to announce that Braintree has opened up private beta access to accept bitcoin for all of its U.S.-based merchants. Braintree merchants can now accept bitcoin by creating a Coinbase account and adding a few lines of code to their existing Braintree v.zero integration.”
Nonetheless, PayPal is yet to provide further details on the full extent of its plans for Bitcoin or the other cryptocurrencies supported by its partners, which in the case of GoCoin also include Dogecoin and Litecoin. EBay meanwhile has been supportive of the move, its president Devin Wenig stating that “Both eBay and PayPal are open to [Bitcoin]—PayPal is experimenting with it—and through our relationship we’re likely to do the same. I am very open to it.”
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