PayPal takes another baby step toward Bitcoin acceptance

PayPal is teaming with Bitcoin payment processors Bitpay, Coinbase and GoCoin to begin accepting virtual currency from the PayPal Payments Hub.

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PayPal is teaming with Bitcoin payment processors Bitpay, Coinbase and GoCoin to begin accepting the virtual currency from the PayPal Payments Hub.

Coinbase is the largest of the three, having already secured a handful of key processing partnerships with funds raised from Silicon Valley investors such as Andreessen Horowitz. BitPay's backers include business magnate Richard Branson, and GoCoin, the smallest the bunch, is backed by several Bitcoin companies.

Now, this does not mean that PayPal has added Bitcoin as a currency its digital wallet. What it does mean is that PayPal will let its merchants accept Bitcoin for digital goods transactions, and only in North America. PayPal describes digital goods as items that are sold, delivered and used online in an electronic format. 

Earlier this month PayPal announced that businesses working with Braintree would be able to accept Bitcoin as a payment option through their v.zero SDK and relationship with Coinbase.

Both moves represent PayPal's gradual entrance into the realm of Bitcoin acceptance. The company said the slow pace largely ensures that the payment method is secure — a priority that factored into its decision to partner with the three chosen Bitcoin processors. PayPal said all three companies take steps to "ensure that they know their customers and that those customers are offered certain protections."

PayPal also noted on its blog that any virtual currency exchangers and administrators interested in working with PayPal must secure the appropriate licenses and put anti-money laundering procedures in place.

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