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Money

Ebay weighs accepting bitcoins as payment unit

The online auction house Ebay has been in talks to offer bitcoins as an alternative to credit card payments. The move would be a huge endorsement for the crypto-currency.

Ebay is reportedly weighing the introduction of the virtual currency bitcoin into its Braintree payments system, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said executives from Ebay's PayPal unit had recently met with companies that specialize in bitcoin transactions to discuss ways Braintree could integrate the crypto-currency into its services.

"We do believe that bitcoin will play an important role in payments in the future," Ebay spokeswoman Jennifer Hakes said.

Bitcoin: The digital currency

Braintree handles transactions for a number of popular online start-ups, including the apartment sharing service Airbnb and the order-a-car platform Uber.

While no formal agreement has been made, the Journal said the timing of adopting bitcoins would largely depend on the signing of such a deal.

Although consumer confidence in bitcoin has risen in recent years, an endorsement by Ebay would be a major boost for the virtual currency that hopes to one day supersede cash and credit card payments.

cjc/hg (Reuters, dpa)

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