PayPal Considers Bitcoin Transactions

Lila Gray

LONDON — David Marcus, president of PayPal, expressed his fascination and potential involvement with the virtual currency in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse” earlier today.

While Marcus mentioned no definitive statement about incorporating bitcoin into the PayPal transaction scheme, he made nebulous projections about a future relationship.

“So I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at it, and it’s truly fascinating actually: the way that the currency’s been designed, and the way that inflation is built in to pay for miners, and all that is truly fascinating,” Marcus said. “I think that for us at PayPal, it’s just a question whether bitcoin will make its way to PayPal’s funding instrument or not. We’re kind of thinking about it.”

PayPal’s flirtation with bitcoin may signal an impending mainstream acceptance of the largest decentralized, alternative digital currency in the world. OkCupid, a dating site with more than 4 million active users, declared last week that their premium A-list subscription features are now available for purchase with bitcoin, making it the biggest and most well-known company to accept the crypto currency.   

However, bitcoin’s historic volatility makes long-term projections difficult.

Created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin value has vacillated from $2 in October of 2011 to $296 earlier this month. Bitcoin is affected by global markets and international affairs just like any form of currency, and suffered greatly during the financial crisis in Cyprus.   

The adult industry has already gravitated towards bitcoin as an ideal form of alternative payment for its anonymity. In April, adult website network MetArt and announced that they would embrace bitcoin transactions.      

"We are able to accept bitcoin payments and track and pay affiliates for these sales," MetArt spokeswoman Jill Taylor said. "It opens up a new world of consumers for our affiliates and partners to tap into and allows our customers an additional payment option that many feel more comfortable utilizing than their debit or credit cards."

Although the future role of bitcoin in the mainstream marketplace is still evolving, it remains a hot-button issue for techies and business owners.

“We’re all kind of watching [bitcoin] with a great deal of interest,” “The Pulse” host Guy Johnson told Marcus.