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August 18, 2014

eBay payments company set to accept Bitcoin

Braintree weighing up using the cryptocurrency across apps such as Uber and Airbnb

By Vinod

eBay shoppers are a step clsoer to being able to use Bitcoin to pay for their purchases following the news that the company is considering incorporating alternative currencies into its payments system.

The auction site’s payments subsidiary, Braintree, is in talks with several Bitcoin transaction services, including Coinbase, to discuss the possibility of accepting the virtual currency.

However, any agreement would most likely not yet include eBay or its subsidiary PayPal, but could include popular mobile applications Uber, Airbnb and GitHub, all of which are Braintree customers.

Such a move would allow subscribers to these apps to pay for transactions on these services using Bitcoin, possibly through Braintree’s Venmo mobile app, which allows users to pay across Braintree merchants using a stored credit card.

It would also help push Bitcoin further into the mainstream public eye, with any integration from the above companies marking the biggest endorsement of the cryptocurrency yet.

Previously, eBay CEO John Donahoe expressed a possible interest in exploring ways for the company accept digital currencies, saying that it was "inevitable" that alternative payments methods would be integrated into both eBay and PayPal at some point.

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Braintree was acquired by PayPal for $800m last year. At the time of the deal, the company reported that it was processing up to $12bn (£7.4bn) in payments per year – $4bn of that via mobile apps, to around 4,000 merchants worldwide.

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