PayPal has partnered with three of the leading bitcoin processors to enable support for the crypto-currency among its digital merchants.
Available initially in North America, Paypal has collaborated with BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin to manage the transactions on behalf of merchant customers.
PayPal was at pains to point out that its intends to proceed with caution on bitcoin-related support.
"To be clear, today's news does not mean that PayPal has added Bitcoin as a currency in our digital wallet or that Bitcoin payments will be processed on our secure payments platform," says the company. "PayPal has always embraced innovation, but always in ways that make payments safer and more reliable for our customers. Our approach to Bitcoin is no different. That's why we're proceeding gradually, supporting Bitcoin in some ways today and holding off on other ways until we see how things develop."
Earlier this month, PayPal announced that businesses working with Braintree would soon be able to accept Bitcoin as a payment option through the company's v.zero SDK and relationship with Coinbase.
Today's news provided an immediate lift to the value of bitcoin, raising the currency back above the $400 mark on the prospect of the creation of more merchant storefronts where users can spend their stash.