GLOBAL online payment company PayPal is gradually opening its doors to Bitcoin trading after striking a deal with Coinbase, a virtual currency and wallet exchange service.
According to Quartz, the partnership will allow Coinbase users to sell bitcoin and cash out to their PayPal accounts.
Although buying bitcoin is not currently possible, the small integration is seen as a noteworthy first step towards a more widespread use of the virtual currency.
In its blog, Coinbase said one of its objectives is to add as many funding mechanisms as possible to make exchanging digital currency easy.
As a step in that direction, Coinbase now accepts PayPal (for bitcoin sells) and credit cards (for bitcoin buys) for thousands of its users who use PayPal for their fiat currency transactions around the world.
“Through this integration, Coinbase users are now able to sell BTC and have their USD funds deposited to a PayPal wallet. To start, we’re offering PayPal cash-out for US users only. In the future, we hope to add support for other countries, and to support buys through PayPal as well,” the company said.
“With the addition of credit card support, we are getting closer to a world where customers can purchase bitcoin with any card in their wallet.”
Both services, Coinbase said, are currently in beta and more users will be able to utilize each service over the next few weeks. The services will also be expanding to more countries in the coming months.
Up until recently, consumer tech giants have been sluggish in embracing bitcoin and its underlying “blockchain” technology. But now, big tech companies such as IBM and Microsoft have begun to explore blockchain tech.
Blockchain tech refers to a distributed database that maintains an ever-growing list of data records which have been reinforced to protect against tampering and revision.
Quartz also recently reported that online rental service Airbnb had “acqui-hired” a bitcoin company and its engineers in order to experiment and see what the virtual currency technology can do for the company.