PayPal, the payments giant once ambivalent about bitcoin, is finally warming to the virtual currency.
Earlier this month, the company said its subsidiary Braintree was integrating the cryptocurrency into its developer tools. Following on that news, PayPal announced Tuesday that its merchants can begin accepting bitcoin.
The San Jose company has signed deals with BitPay, Coinbase, and GoCoin to process bitcoin payments. PayPal said it chose to partner with these companies for their commitment to security and anti-money laundering procedures, but these agreements don’t mean it is fully embracing the digital currency yet. PayPal will not be processing bitcoin payments or adding it as a currency to its digital wallet.
“PayPal has always embraced innovation, but always in ways that make payments safer and more reliable for our customers,” senior director of corporate strategy Scott Ellison said in a blog post. “Our approach to Bitcoin is no different. That’s why we’re proceeding gradually, supporting Bitcoin in some ways today and holding off on other ways until we see how things develop.”
The PayPal news is certainly validation for the virtual currency, which has been bogged down by its reputation as a way to launder money and purchase illegal drugs. According to Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, the value of the currency on Thursday shot up from under $400 to $426.