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PayPal Finally Embraces Bitcoin

PayPal Finally Embraces Bitcoin
[Photo: Flickr user Linus Bohman]

For PayPal, it was a question of when. The payments company has long hedged on its stance on bitcoin–just a couple of weeks ago, it told Fast Company: “We do believe that bitcoin will play an important role in payments in the future but we have nothing to announce”–but as the virtual currency soared in valuation and adoption, it became harder to ignore.

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On Monday, PayPal finally came to embrace bitcoin, with its subsidiary Braintree integrating the cryptocurrency into its vzero.sdk tool released in July. Braintree is using Coinbase to process bitcoin payments.

“This will be PayPal’s first foray into bitcoin,” said Braintree CEO Bill Ready, who sold his startup to the payments giant last fall for $800 million. “We think both the One Touch mobile payments that we announced as well as bitcoin will be high interest to merchants.”

This update will allow its customers–including Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, and HotelTonight–to easily accept bitcoin as a payment method. Ready, who made the announcement at TechCrunch Disrupt, was unable to name any specific merchants that will take bitcoin.

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