Some pretty big news coming today from PayPal. The payments company announced Tuesday partnership with three major bitcoin payment processors: GoCoin, BitPay, and Coinbase.
Merchants in North America selling digital goods — effective today — will be able to accept bitcoin from customers with an integration through PayPal Payments Hub, a utility that allows for easy payments acceptance through PayPal.
PayPal writes today in a blog post:
[blockquote style=”2″]We chose to work with BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin because of our commitment to offering innovative and safer ways for businesses to accept payments. All three companies have taken steps to ensure that they know their customers and that those customers are offered certain protections. We believe digital goods merchants will be excited to work with these industry-leading companies to sell ringtones, games and music and get paid with Bitcoin.[/blockquote]
They wish to note, however, that this doesn’t mean that users will be able to interact with bitcoin within their PayPal wallets. At least not yet:
[blockquote style=”2″]To be clear, today’s news does not mean that PayPal has added Bitcoin as a currency in our digital wallet or that Bitcoin payments will be processed on our secure payments platform. PayPal has always embraced innovation, but always in ways that make payments safer and more reliable for our customers. Our approach to Bitcoin is no different. That’s why we’re proceeding gradually, supporting Bitcoin in some ways today and holding off on other ways until we see how things develop.[/blockquote]
Despite the ambitious move on the part of PayPal, they’re keeping cautious. Scott Ellison who heads corporate strategy at PayPal notes in the aforementioned blog post that PayPal will require merchants accepting bitcoin to fulfill necessary anti-money laundering and license requirements where applicable.
PayPal is also looking to keep away from merchants who pre-sell products. Most prominently, bitcoin mining equipment manufacturers, because according to Ellison, it may not provide a good consumer experience (you can say that again).
Bitcoin price reacts
Notable to mention is the fact that the price of bitcoin has reacted to the news, it would seem. Market data from Bitstamp shows that the price has shot up over 11 percent to $442 USD after the revelation.
This is unusual in that the bitcoin markets often don’t react to good news as positively as many would like, but here we are.
PayPal has not indicated when other merchants around the world will also be able to integrate bitcoin payments.
What do you make of today’s news?