PayPal subsidiary Braintree to process Bitcoin payments

The move represents PayPal's first foray into the digital currency

Online payments platform Braintree will start processing Bitcoin transactions, allowing merchants to accept payments in the crypto-currency.

Braintree is partnering with Bitcoin payments processor Coinbase to allow its customers to accept bitcoins, and will launch the function in "the coming months," Braintree said in a blog post on Monday.

Braintree is a division of PayPal, which is owned by e-commerce giant eBay.

"Today we're announcing PayPal's first foray into Bitcoin," Braintree CEO Bill Ready earlier told an audience at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco. "The Coinbase wallet will be easily presented for consumers to pay in a highly adaptive, mobile-optimized experience."

The company's v.zero software development kit, designed for payments made via apps and websites, will integrate Bitcoin functionality.

To accept bitcoin, Braintree merchants will have to open accounts with Coinbase and link the new account to their Braintree account.

"Braintree merchants using Coinbase will receive all the benefits associated with accepting bitcoin payments, including 1 percent flat transaction fees," Coinbase said in a blog post.

Braintree also announced widespread availability of One Touch, a function that lets users pay for things using their iOS or Android mobile devices with a single touch -- clicking the "Buy" button.

Currently limited to merchants in the U.S., the function works with PayPal and with Braintree's own mobile payment app, Venmo, which lets users send payments to friends for free.

One Touch eliminates the need to input a username and password every time a payment is made. It's being used by apps such as Jane.com, which offers deals on apparel.

Braintree's payments platform, available in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe, is used by Web-based accommodation service AirBNB as well as Uber, the taxi-calling app.

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Tim Hornyak

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