PayPal CEO John Donahoe is considering ways of implementing BitCoins into PayPal's digital transaction network. He says that he's watching Bitcoins very closely and expects that the virtual currency, or virtual currency in general, will be here to stay. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Donahoe stated that within 5 years, Bitcoins and other virtual currencies will be able to be converted into cash and be used in the real world.
The value of Bitcoins has skyrocketed, with its current value being around $140 last time I checked (but considering how quickly its value changes, it may be different now). If Bitcoins were able to be converted into real cash, the U.S. Treasury Department would apply certain money-laundering rules to regulate the exchange of the currency. The regulations would treat Bitcoins in a similar fashion as regular money-order transactions.
Donahoe says that by implementing Bitcoin into PayPal, the company would be able to persuade more retailers to use PayPal's payment system in their retail stores. PayPal and eBay are already attempting to persuade more physical stores to implement PayPal into their payments system. eBay plans on pushing into the offline market this summer by bringing lifesize touchscreen store windows to New York, giving shoppers a new way of offline shopping.
While PayPal is considering adding Bitcoins as a payment option, nothing is set in stone yet. Many other companies have entertained the thought of accepting Bitcoins as payments. Western Union and MoneyGram International are currently figuring out ways to allow customers to transfer money worldwide with the virtual currency. If PayPal does allow customers to pay for things using Bitcoins, that would open a whole new and exciting chapter for the virtual currency.
[via The Wall Street Journal]