After months of speculation, the big news has finally arrived. Earlier today, online payments titan PayPal announced partnerships in the bitcoin space. Bitpay, Coinbase and GoCoin are the bitcoin payment processors PayPal has chosen to work with. Online merchants will now be able to accept bitcoin via all three companies through its PayPal Payments Hub.
Initial reports on PayPal’s possible integration of bitcoin emerged earlier this year. In May 2014, PayPal’s CEO added to the rumours by stating in an interview that PayPal was seriously considering integrating bitcoin at some point in the future.
It is difficult to assess the significance of this development in the short term. Naturally, PayPal’s integration does not automatically imply that all online retailers will actually start using this option, let alone that the entire world will embrace bitcoin payments. In the long term, however, it is a major step towards bitcoin acceptance.
In the Netherlands, legal proceedings are being conducted on the question whether bitcoin qualifies as currency within the meaning of the Dutch Civil Code. PayPal’s answer to that question would appear to be affirmative.