Paypal to accept bitcoin payments via subsidiary Braintree

12/09/2014

Paypal will soon start taking bitcoin through its Braintree subsidiary, as virtual currency continues to gain mainstream acceptance.

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Braintree, the PayPal unit that processes mobile payments, has said it is partnering with bitcoin payment solutions provider Coinbase to allow merchants to accept payments in the popular digital currency.

Braintree said in a blog post it will launch the function in the coming months.

"While we're focused on giving people more seamless buying experiences, we're also fierce advocates of giving merchants -- and in turn their customers -- flexibility and the freedom of choice," the company said.

"That's why today, we also announced that we'll enable our customers to easily accept bitcoin in the coming months via a partnership with Coinbase."

Braintree added that merchants will be able to add bitcoin to their existing payment methods and "provide an elegant, adaptive user interface" for consumers to pay in bitcoin with their Coinbase wallet.

The integration of bitcoin means companies that already use Braintree to run their payments will be able to accept bitcoin in the coming months without changing their configuration, a move that could boost adoption of the cryptocurrency.

Braintree already handles transactions by companies including Uber, AirBnB and Dropbox.

Merchants wanting to accept bitcoin payments will still need to set up a Coinbase wallet but they will have the option to instantly convert every bitcoin payment back into fiat currency.

However, Paypal is keeping bitcoin at an arm’s length. The integration with Braintree won’t affect customers or merchants with Paypal accounts.

But the change opens the door for PayPal to integrate bitcoin into its main wallet functionality.

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