PayPal Enables Bitcoin Transactions For Merchants Selling Digital Goods

Bitcoin’s momentum among key merchants and platforms on the web keeps accelerating.

After hinting at it a few weeks ago when Braintree enabled Bitcoin-based transactions for PayPal developers, the company is now enabling Bitcoin across the PayPal network for merchants of digital goods.

The company has expressed interest in bitcoin for a while, with eBay CEO John Donahoe saying in the past that it would play an “important role” in the company’s future. Now that large players from Overstock to Wikipedia are now relying on the cryptocurrency for a part of their transactions or donations, PayPal is stepping in.

Through partnerships with BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin, PayPal will let its merchants accept bitcoin for digital goods transactions. They decided to go with a handful of launch partners instead of a single one, as PayPal’s Braintree did with Coinbase earlier this month. To be clear, this isn’t about adding Bitcoin to PayPal’s digital wallet and it’s only in North America for the moment. These are baby steps for now.

“This is a huge endorsement to the digital currency community,” said GoCoin CEO Steve Beauregard.

PayPal will earn transaction revenue through referral fees, which are pretty common throughout the payments world.

“PayPal is playing the role of the intermediary, but the cost will be left up to the merchant and the payment processor,” said Scott Ellison, who is PayPal’s senior director of competitive intelligence and corporate strategy.

A few weeks ago at TechCrunch Disrupt, Braintree CEO Bill Ready said that it was adding Bitcoin as a payment to its SDK.