Since the introduction of Bitcoin, there has always been some speculation (and some fear) that the currency would one day be accepted in all places. While that day hasn’t yet come, PayPal has announced that the company will allow companies using the subsidiary Braintree to accept Bitcoin payments.
PayPal is working with one of the largest Bitcoin platforms, Coinbase, in order to make these transactions happen.
The Braintree Connection
PayPal announced the new Bitcoin policy at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. PayPal told press that any company using Braintree to handle transactions (a credit card and currency payment processing system) can now take Bitcoins as a form of accepted currency (the move will happen later this month).
Companies already using Braintree include some big names like Dropbox, Uber, and AirBnB. A number of companies that already use the PayPal system told PayPal developers that they would love to accept Bitcoins were that possible, and now it’s possible. Those companies will still have to set up a Coinbase wallet, but all payments would still go through the same processing company (Braintree), so no additional companies have to be dealt with. As soon as the coins are used as payment, the currency is then exchanged into flat currency.
A Win for PayPal
This is a huge move for PayPal, and it may just put the payment company at the top of the payment system pyramid. Apple has just joined the ranks with the new Apple Pay, but Apple does not accept Bitcoins (yet). Thus, PayPal is one step ahead of the crowd. While the news is exciting to those that use Bitcoins, the PayPal/Braintree deal won’t really impact consumers.
PayPal is allowing its customers to accept Bitcoins through Braintree, but the company is still staying away from Bitcoins where consumers are concerned. If you use PayPal, you won’t be able to pay with Bitcoins or buy things using PayPal with the coins. Still, PayPal is now the only online payment platform to work with the Internet currency.
Bitcoins Scare Some
A number of reports coming out the UK today point to the Bitcoin currency as a major threat to the UK’s financial stability. However, those same reports also point to the fact that the number of Bitcoins being circulated is still relatively low, and that most Bitcoin users reside in China and in the United States. There are other problems with Bitcoin in the U.S., though. One of the glaring factors is that investors don’t have a secure platform to trade the currency on, and this could be an issue.
However, this insecurity and instability is starting to change, and a new trading platform could pop up within the next few years. You will start to see some companies that use PayPal accepting Bitcoins within the next month, so start using your coins if you have them, or (and maybe a better plan) start saving those Bitcoins - they could be worth something in the very near future. While once just a fad, Bitcoins are starting to look a lot more legitimate.