This announcement technically marks PayPal parent company eBay’s second Bitcoin experiment, as Braintree, which eBay also owns, debuted Bitcoin support a few weeks ago. PayPal shares that merchants can now accept Bitcoin thanks to deals it has secured with Bitcoin payment services Coinbase, BitPay, and GoCoin.
Bitcoin support, however, doesn’t appear automatic. PayPal shares that “PayPal digital goods merchants” can now “accept Bitcoin with a simple integration through the PayPal Payments Hub.”
PayPal made clear in its official release that Bitcoin will not be fully integrated into the company’s core digital wallet; PayPal will leave Bitcoin payment processing to the third-parties above: “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.”
Put another way, this is a test. A low-liability test.
“PayPal has always embraced innovation,” the company claims, “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.”