PayPal takes second cautious step towards Bitcoin

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PayPal takes second cautious step towards Bitcoin

Not yet ready for full support.

Payments giant PayPal is slowly advancing towards supporting popular virtual currency Bitcoin, today announcing it would partner with three Bitcoin processors to allow certain PayPal merchants to accept the currency for digital goods.

It's the second small step the company has taken towards full Bitcoin adoption. PayPal earlier this month announced its mobile payment provider unit Braintree would release a feature allowing its customers to accept Bitcoin as a payment option.

PayPal today said it would partner with three of the virtual currency's payment processors - BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin - so a number of PayPal digital goods sellers can accept Bitcoin as payments. 

The partnership will apply initially only to North America.

PayPal is moving slowly towards Bitcoin acceptance as it works to ensure the payment method is secure, PayPal spokesperson Scott Ellison said in a blog post.

He said PayPal had chosen BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin specifically as they had taken steps to offer customers certain protections.

Ellison also emphasised the partnerships did not mean PayPal would add Bitcoin as a currency to its digital wallet, nor would it transact the currency on its own payments platform.

"PayPal has always embraced innovation, but always in ways that make payments safer and more reliable for our customers," he wrote.

"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."

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