Why the PayPal Spin-Off Is Great News for Bitcoin

The mainstream financial media is all over the big news this week regarding the eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) plan for a PayPal spin-off into a separate publicly traded company next year.

Of course, a number of the stories I read mentioned the obvious - that the move comes months after activist investor Carl Icahn suggested the same transaction only to get the brush off.

And let me be clear about one thing. I'm a big believer in the eBay-PayPal spin-off. It will provide eBay investors with shares in fast-growing PayPal as a tax-free special dividend.

paypal spinoff

After all, PayPal is one of the world's leading payment companies. It has a stunning 152.5 million users, and Wall Street believes PayPal could have a market capitalization of as much as $31.5 billion.

PayPal clearly isn't taking any chances. It's hired a former American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) executive as its new CEO.

But there's an angle to the story that almost no one has taken the time to mention - the PayPal spin-off is great news for Bitcoin.

How the PayPal Spin-Off Will Boost Bitcoin

The move comes just days after PayPal announced a whole new level of support for the virtual currency.

Taken together, PayPal's moves are a sign that the digital payments world is getting hotter by the minute, and that Bitcoin ranks as the leading virtual currency in this rapidly growing ecosystem.

For more than a year now, I've been saying that Bitcoin is an unstoppable global force that will transform the way people pay for goods and services, particularly over the Internet.

I believe a series of events unfolding daily proves this is true. It also means that Bitcoin has moved well beyond the realm of a pure currency play into an advanced, secure digital payments platform.

Let's start with PayPal's recent Bitcoin news...

Last week PayPal announced it had struck a deal with three leading Bitcoin processors, Coinbase, GoCoin and BitPay. Under the agreement, eBay merchants who work with PayPal can now accept Bitcoin.

Over the last several months, PayPal senior leaders have expressed keen interest in Bitcoin's Web-centric technology. Scott Ellison, the company's senior director of corporate strategy, told CNN Money that integrating Bitcoin was part of PayPal's status as "the original payments disruptor."

For a new company like BitPay this is a pivotal moment, but not the first big break it's gotten. Just six months ago, it received $30 million in venture funding from a group that includes Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) founder Jerry Yang and Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group Ltd.

I met with BitPay CEO Tony Gallippi in late 2013, and I can tell you he's always looking for new ways to further integrate Bitcoin as an online payment system.

Among other things, Gallippi has gone the extra mile to increase Bitcoin's public profile. He played a key role in getting the name of the St. Petersburg Bowl college football game changed to the Bitcoin Bowl, which will be played this December 26 at Tropicana Field.

Now, Gallippi's company and other processors will allow PayPal users to pay for things like online games, music, and other digital goods using Bitcoin as a form of payment.

True, there are some limitations. The transactions will only be viable through the PayPal Payments Hub. And merchant support will only be available for those in North America.

Nevertheless, this is a huge step for Bitcoin considering that hardly anyone had heard of the virtual currency just two years ago.

And PayPal isn't the only large company cozying up to Bitcoin.

PayPal + Apple = A Higher Bitcoin Price

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) recently began allowing Bitcoin apps to be sold on its highly popular App Store.

Here's the thing. This links Bitcoin to another key aspect of the digital payments industry. Apple is soon to launch its Apple Pay mobile wallet that allows consumers to use their iPhones to pay for goods and services.

What really caught my eye is that Apple has some very sophisticated security features embedded in the platform that harken to Bitcoin's approach to keeping payments confidential.

Now, I would like to see a higher Bitcoin price than what we have at present. It was trading earlier today (Wednesday) at around $380.

However, with Bitcoin now gaining critical mass and getting the backing of both PayPal and Apple, I believe the Bitcoin price is set to rise again in the weeks ahead.

UP NEXT: The media completely missed another major development for Bitcoin last month, when the first U.S. Bitcoin derivative started trading. Here's why this is such a big deal for businesses that want to start using Bitcoin...


About the Author

Michael A. Robinson is a 36-year Silicon Valley veteran and one of the top tech and biotech financial analysts working today. That's because, as a consultant, senior adviser, and board member for Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Michael enjoys privileged access to pioneering CEOs, scientists, and high-profile players. And he brings this entire world of Silicon Valley "insiders" right to you...

  • He was one of five people involved in early meetings for the $160 billion "cloud" computing phenomenon.
  • He was there as Lee Iacocca and Roger Smith, the CEOs of Chrysler and GM, led the robotics revolution that saved the U.S. automotive industry.
  • As cyber-security was becoming a focus of national security, Michael was with Dave DeWalt, the CEO of McAfee, right before Intel acquired his company for $7.8 billion.

This all means the entire world is constantly seeking Michael's insight.

In addition to being a regular guest and panelist on CNBC and Fox Business, he is also a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter. His first book Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings warned people about the coming financial collapse - years before the word "bailout" became a household word.

Silicon Valley defense publications vie for his analysis. He's worked for Defense Media Network and Signal Magazine, as well as The New York Times, American Enterprise, and The Wall Street Journal.

And even with decades of experience, Michael believes there has never been a moment in time quite like this.

Right now, medical breakthroughs that once took years to develop are moving at a record speed. And that means we are going to see highly lucrative biotech investment opportunities come in fast and furious.

To help you navigate the historic opportunity in biotech, Michael launched the Bio-Tech Profit Alliance.

His other publications include: Strategic Tech Investor, The Nova-X Report, Bio-Technology Profit Alliance and Nexus-9 Network.

Read full bio