Bitcoin has failed to stage a significant rally despite yesterday’s announcement by payment platform Braintree (an eBay subsidiary). The company announced a partnership with Coinbase that will allow its merchants to seamlessly accept BTC payments. Braintree merchants using Coinbase will receive the firm’s standard package for BTC payments, a flat 1% transaction fee, waived for the first $1 million in bitcoin sales.
The chart above shows bitcoin’s yawn reaction to the news. While BTC/USD rallied somewhat in anticipation of the news (from $465 to $476), prices quickly fell right after Braintree’s CEO Bill Ready announced the news at ‘’ TechCrunch Disrupt’’. One bitcoin is currently quoted at $465, exactly where it was trading pre-news. Part of the reason was likely the usual ‘’buy the rumor sell the fact’’. In addition, the Braintree’s news isn’t a complete surprise, a few weeks ago major media publications speculated that Coinbase was working with the company to integrate BTC payments.
Is Paypal Next?
What is somewhat surprising is Paypal’s role in all of this. Braintree was acquired by eBay in September of 2013 for $800 million. Paypal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay. When the interviewer asked the Braintree CEO if this is Paypal accepting bitcoin or just them, Bill Ready said that this move will only involve Braintree but he was quick to ‘’implicate’’ Paypal as well: ‘’This is PayPal making a move to embrace Bitcoin’’.
Paypal immediately posted the news on its community website. Here’s the part pertaining to bitcoin:
‘’We believe in customer choice — choice in terms of the device they want to pay on, the OS they prefer to use, and even the payment method they want to pay with. With Braintree’s new partnership with Coinbase, merchants and developers that have integrated with Braintree’s v.zero SDK will be able to easily begin accepting bitcoin in the coming months’’
A few hours earlier, Paypal uploaded this video on its Youtube channel. The vid starts by touting a ‘’people’s economy’’ and goes on with the people saying ‘’We have magical money. Not bound by the bank or bill. It’s instant, simple, and secure enough to get out on the way’’. That sounds awfully familiar to a certain cryptocurrency. The video has been seen over 273,000 times in one day and is currently the second most-watched on Paypal’s Youtube channel.
Many are of the mindset that it’s now just a matter of time before Paypal comes onboard but others dismiss the idea and claim that all of this was just marketing. In June of this year, John Donahoe, the CEO of eBay, told CNBC that Paypal ‘’will have to integrate digital currencies into our wallet’’. Was all of this a cheap publicity stunt by Paypal or will the company follow Braintree in integrating bitcoin payments? I guess only time will tell.