Some potentially earth shattering news in the cryptocurrency world today. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that EBay, the parent company of Paypal as well as the world's largest online auction site, is in talks with Coinbase and other bitcoin payment processors to eventually begin adoption of the virtual currency.
According to the Wall Street Journal's report, this would potentially allow bitcoin payments for services that use Paypal's Braintree division to accept Bitcoin. This would include Airbnb and Uber.
While the report, which cites “people familiar to the situation” doesn't specify which other companies besides Coinbase have been involved in the talks, Bitpay would be the prime suspect.Reportedly, Paypal executives have been talking to companies that “facilitate bitcoin payments” but has yet to reach any agreements.
Braintree was an independent company until December of last year when it was acquired by EBay for USD $800 million. They were processing USD $12 billion worth of transactions per year at that time, nearly twice of bitcoin's entire market value at current rates.
If the deal goes through, it would not mean that Paypal and EBay would being accepting Bitcoin right away, although the plan is that they will eventually.
As we reported last month, EBay CEO John Donahoe did say that he was looking for ways to utilize the currency. This seems to be the first sign of that coming to fruition.
"John Donahoe 2013" by Michelle Kung
Bitcoin had been taking a beating lately, dropping from around USD $580 last week to below USD $520 for a brief period. It will be interesting to see if this news causes the price to shoot back up or even beyond its previous plateau of around USD $600.
In a statement published by Reuters, EBay spokeswomen Jennifer Hakes refused to reveal much
“We do believe that Bitcoin will play an important role in payments in the future, but we have nothing to announce[.]”
We will keep you up to date on any further developments.
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