This morning, the official PayPal YouTube channel uploaded new video titled “PayPal Voices,” focusing on the increasingly peer-to-peer nature of transactions in an increasingly decentralized economy. But a single line of the video’s text holds huge ramifications for the bitcoin community, as well as the future of digital currency. Roughly eight seconds into the video, the chorus of voices seem to say: “Our phone is our wallet. We can spend Bitcoin with a tap, without a pocket.”
This strongly suggests that PayPal is on the verge of adding bitcoin payment options to their payment system, although no official announcement has yet been made. The video was made to promote the PayPal mobile app, which hasn’t been updated since August 15th and does not currently include a bitcoin-payment option. This may be the first concrete indication that the long-rumored, bitcoin-enabled PayPal wallet hinted at in February is nearing launch in the next update of the app.
It’s no secret that PayPal has been working on some form of bitcoin integration for most of the last year. eBay CEO John Donahoe told investors back in May that the bitcoin was “on our radar screen,” but declined to give specifics about possible integrations with PayPal or eBay. Last month, PayPal hosted a range of bitcoin-industry luminaries at their “PayPal TechXploration” event, strongly suggesting something big was in the works. Only a few weeks ago, PayPal tech-services subsidiary Braintree was also revealed to be “in talks” with bitcoin payment processors. If the video is what it appears to be, that still-unnamed payment processor — almost certainly Coinbase or BitPay — is on the verge of becoming a major player in the e-commerce world.