UPDATED 13:30 EDT / AUGUST 15 2014

eBay is in talks about accepting Bitcoin payments

medium_364082308Bitcoin’s value recently fell below $500, but it quickly recovered. The exact cause has yet to be determined, but a recent warning issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is one of the probable reasons for its abrupt decline in value.

There are still many uncertainties about Bitcoin, but its value may soon see a tremendous rise if reports that eBay Inc. is working on integrating Bitcoin with its Braintree Payments Solution LLC (a subsidiary of PayPal Inc.), have any truth to them.

People familiar with the matter stated that PayPal officials had recently met with several companies that deal in Bitcoin transactions, like Coinbase Inc., but it hasn’t yet reached any agreement. If and when eBay does start accepting Bitcoin, it would be a big step towards mainstream adoption, and would probably help to increase its traffic and sales.

PayPal president David Marcus and eBay CEO John Donahoe have made separate statements in the past about their feelings on Bitcoin. Although it was a bit surprising at the time, both have made it clear that their companies are interested in Bitcoin, but neither clarified any plans. But things could change as those who are already accepting Bitcoin payments have reported largely positive results.

Overstock.com Inc., a huge online retailer that started accepting Bitcoin last January, is expecting to add four cents per share related to its sales through Bitcoin. The company’s CEO, Patrick Byrne, said Overstock is now seeing Bitcoin transactions amounting to around $15,000 per day, or $300,0000 per month. He added that he’s hoping to reach $1 million in Bitcoin sales a month by the end of the year, as the company plans to start accepting Bitcoin payments from international customers in mid-september.

A report from CoinDesk earlier this year said that there are now 60,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin payments worldwide. It’s advantageous to merchants because most Bitcoin payment processors charge them less than one percent, sometimes close to zero to process transactions. This is far less than the  three percent transaction fee most credit cards charge.

Because of the advantages Bitcoin presents, we can expect more retailers to get in on the action. And once they do, it’s likely they’ll stick around.

“We’re in bitcoin for the long haul, I intend to make it permanent,” said Byrne. “Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are going to be around for as long as the law of mathematics works.”

photo credit: Ryan Fanshaw Photography via photopin cc

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