The rise of virtual currencies continues unabated, despite several setbacks along the way – including an FBI raid and the collapse of one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in the world.
But it seems more mainstream take-up of the currency among retailers isn’t far away. Overnight two major developments have occurred regarding Bitcoin – which both indicate retailers and businesses are slowly becoming used to the idea of Bitcoin being introduced into mainstream adoption.
First, payment group Square have announced a new cash register that will enable businesses to accept Bitcoin, along with Apple’s new payment system as well.
“We’re building a register so that sellers can accept a credit card, so they can accept cash, so they can accept a cheque, so they can accept Bitcoin and so they can accept any form of payment that comes across the counter including future ones and burgeoning ones like Apple Pay,” CEO Jack Dorsey said at the launch, according to Wired.
With so many Square users being sole entrepreneurs or small business owners, this is a large play into mainstream adoption. So is this: PayPal has announced partnerships with three major Bitcoin processors, BitPay, Coinbase and GoCoin. Bitcoins will be integrated directly into the PayPal Payments Hub.
The Next Web quotes PayPal Senior Director of Corporate Strategy Scott Ellison as saying:
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.”
Specifically, he also says this:
PayPal also needs to follow the laws and regulations in every market we operate. For this reason, virtual currency exchangers and administrators interested in working with PayPal in the future must secure the appropriate licenses and put anti-money laundering procedures in place.”
The adoption of Bitcoin processing by PayPal is another step towards the mainstream take-up of the digital currency, but the emphasis on regulation and clarity on law is key here. This echoes the communication coming from various governments around the world, including the Australian ATO. As the regulatory discussion around digital currencies increase, more consumers and businesses may be incentivised to give it a try. It’s only a matter of time.