PayPal has announced that it is partnering with three of the major cryptocurrency processors- BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin- to allow its merchants to accept Bitcoin for digital goods.
This comes as PayPal, along with its parent eBay, have become increasingly less shy about their warming up to cryptocurrency. The move confirms earlier reports of PayPal meeting with major bitcoin processors, and goes a step beyond its subsidiary Braintree’s recent adoption.
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While a huge step for the Bitcoin world, the move is far from a full scale adoption of Bitcoin. PayPal is having bitcoins converted immediately to fiat through its partners, reducing its risk of exposure. It is not transacting or storing bitcoins on its own platform, nor is it allowing users to move them into online wallets.
In addition, the feature will be initially limited to merchants selling digital goods. Scott Ellison, senior director of corporate strategy at PayPal, said, “Digital goods were an easy way to do it first… People are comfortable paying online for those things.” Initially, only North American merchants will be eligible.
The functionality, scheduled to become available in the coming weeks, will be more of a test in the beginning. Should the experiment go well, it may be expanded on a grander scale with eBay.