Braintree a payment technology business owned by eBay, is reportedly looking at accepting the popular and controversial digital currency, Bitcoin, as a form of payment.
Braintree is talking with Coinbase and other Bitcoin-based merchant service providers, according to an Aug. 15 report in The Wall Street Journal. Any resulting agreement would not include eBay or PayPal, but would make Bitcoin acceptance an option for the companies that use Braintree's technology to handle payments. Braintree's clients include Uber, Airbnb and Github.
"We do believe that Bitcoin will play an important role in payments in the future but we have nothing to announce," said Braintree spokeswoman Lisa Kornblatt in an email to PaymentsSource.
EBay is also open to letting digital currency play a role in its other business lines. "I think there's no doubt digital currency is going to play an important role going forward, and at PayPal, we're going to have to integrate digital currencies into our wallet," said John Donahoe, eBay's chief executive, in an interview with CNBC in June.
Merchant adoption of Bitcoin continues to grow, with Coinbase and its rival BitPay neck-and-neck with a little under 40,000 merchant clients each.
Dish Network Corp., which has more than 14 million customers, will soon allow bill payment using bitcoin. Overstock.com plans to integrate bitcoin into many areas of its business, including paying vendors faster if they accept the digital currency and giving employees larger bonuses if they take their paychecks in bitcoin.
Recently the processor Global Payments Inc. began working with BitPay to allow its more than one million clients to accept Bitcoin, with a focus on businesses that cater to international travelers.