PayPal Video Sparks Rumors About Potential Bitcoin Plans

Tom Sharkey
Sep 8, 2014 at 19:05 UTC
Updated Sep 9, 2014 at 14:12 UTC

 

PayPal has sparked speculation in the wider digital currency community with the release of a new promotional video that makes reference to bitcoin.

The video, titled ‘PayPal Voices’, was published on the company’s official YouTube page today.

The one-minute promo features a string of actors who are described as “the voices of the people economy”, extolling the benefits of using PayPal. Bitcoin is mentioned just 10 seconds into the video in the following voiceover passage:

“Our phone is our wallet. We can spend bitcoin with a tap, without a pocket.”

The news provides the latest evidence that either the eBay-owned company or its mobile payment processing subsidiary Braintree might move to integrate bitcoin into an upcoming project.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal this August, such speculation was given yet another boost today in an article by Re/code that suggested Braintree’s announcement may come as soon as today.

Braintree was acquired by PayPal in September 2013. PayPal itself is a subsidiary of eBay, one of the largest e-commerce companies on the web. Outspoken bitcoin advocate Marc Andreessen sits on the board of eBay.

Speculation mounts

At the time of writing, PayPal’s only reference to bitcoin integration is the excerpt from the video.

Still, speculation has run rampant, with more than 400 comments about the video splattered across YouTube and reddit.

Notable bitcoin investor and SecondMarket executive chairman Barry Silbert has joined in discussing the significance of the video:

More information needed

Details are still sparse, and even if the video is proven to be authentic, it’s not entirely clear what plans PayPal has for the digital currency.

While the video does not necessarily mean that PayPal will integrate with bitcoin, the timing of both Re/code’s news and the video raises many questions.

The bitcoin community has been vocal about the relationship between PayPal and bitcoin in the past. Many argue that the digital nature of bitcoin lends itself perfectly to PayPal’s business model, while others contend that bitcoin doesn’t need the support of a centralized platform to flourish.

Whatever the case may be, a PayPal-bitcoin integration would certainly shake up the industry and bring the digital currency significantly more visibility with the general public.

CoinDesk is continuing to follow this developing story. At press time, neither PayPal nor Braintree had responded to requests for comment.

Image credit: Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com

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