PayPal, eBay May Soon Start Accepting Bitcoin

November 4th, 2013

The digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin has enjoyed an explosive rise into the mainstream of late. What was once considered by most to be an obscure, technically-complex financial invention used only by ideologues on the fringes of society has now gained recognition as an anonymous and secure way to engage in online transactions with individuals and businesses from around the world. A robust Bitcoin marketplace recently emerged in China, driving its value above $200. In fact, for the first time in history, a bar in China just started accepting the digital currency.

Now, Zerohedge is reporting on recent comments by eBay CEO John Donahoe, who indicated that the online auction service may soon begin accepting Bitcoin via its payment system PayPal. PayPal can also be used to make purchases on a wide range of websites, so, if this were to take place, it would drastically increase the number of retailers through which Bitcoin users could buy products. Is this hot new digital cryptocurrency on its way to becoming a mainstream method of payment for typical consumers?

Will Bitcoin Soon Be Accepted Everywhere?

As it stands, savvy Bitcoin users can convert their holdings between currencies through a variety of exchanges. In fact, some services already provide options for those who want to buy bitcoins via PayPal. However, the typical apathetic consumer would be more likely to use a digital currency if it were directly accepted by most retailers.

PayPal, on the other hand, is already accepted by a large portion of the online retail marketplace. If it were to begin taking payments in Bitcoin, users could make direct purchases through all of those retailers. That could push Bitcoin beyond a tipping point and encourage other online payment services to participate.

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eBay Prepares New Digital Currency Payment System

eBay’s technological infrastructure for accepting Bitcoin may already be under construction. According to, eBay CEO John Donahoe was quoted as saying, “We are building the [digital currency] container so any retailer could put their loyalty points into the PayPal wallet. There is a limit to how many cards you will carry, or remembering what points you have or don’t have, but in a digital wallet, you can put 50 different loyalty cards.” However, this system isn’t just for retailers’ loyalty cards. Donahoe also stated that the ”same technology could accept other digital currencies,” referring to Bitcoin.

Going further, the eBay CEO said, “Digital currency is going to be a very powerful thing.” He indicated that, though the company is not yet ready to start accepting Bitcoin, the digital cryptocurrency is on his radar and may soon be incorporated into eBay’s PayPal payment system. This would be a significant step forward for Bitcoin and could cause it to surge further into the mainstream.

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About the Author: Barry Donegan

is a singer for the experimental mathcore band , a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.