The full-scale transformation of Bitcoin’s status as a peripheral, somewhat anarchistic method of circumventing normal financial practices into the mainstream is gaining ground each day, with yesterday signalling a potentially large milestone in acceptance of the virtual currency.
Ebay, one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, is set to accept Bitcoin as a method of payment via its Braintree payments unit, part of the firm’s PayPal operations.
Should Braintree proceed with the acceptance of Bitcoin, it will not only mean that Ebay customers may be able to conduct business by using virtual currency, but also firms which use PayPal’s Braintree division will also be able to use Bitcoin, including sites such as hotel and vacation home booking service Airbnb and rental car firms, among other international services.
The facilitation of this means of payment would result in international clients not having to pay foreign exchange conversion costs when purchasing items from overseas providers, opening up the true potential of the internet as a global marketplace.
According to Wall Street Journal sources, PayPal officials have meet in recent weeks with several companies that facilitate bitcoin transactions, including Coinbase Inc. PayPal has yet to reach any agreements, the people said. The timing of when Braintree would accept Bitcoin is dependent in part on such a deal.