Is Google going to accept Bitcoin? - Not yet, but is definitely contemplating the idea

01/24/2014 - 00:00

The first thing to know about Bitcoin has nothing to do with how it works or what the current value of one is — of primary importance is the fanatical devotion Bitcoin users have to the mother of all cryptocurrencies. Many fans of Bitcoin promote the anonymous internet money at every turn, encouraging others to use it as a way to combat everything from government overreach to unethical banking practices. This is why cryptocurrencies are still a thing. Bitcoin enthusiasts scored a major victory when Overstock and Zynga started accepting Bitcoins recently, and that prompted one fan to start asking other internet companies what their plans were. Surprisingly, the one organization he got anywhere with was Google.

Updated: Google has since issued a statement that it isn’t looking to incorporate Bitcoin — but as far as we can tell, the email conversation isn’t being contested. Basically, Google probably is investigating Bitcoin, but isn’t quite ready to publicly jump on the train.

It was an email to Google+ head honcho Vic Gundotra that got a response. Gundotra forwarded the message to the Google’s commerce team, and a manager there confirmed that the company is indeed investigating how Bitcoin could be incorporated. Mountain View has been careful to say that there are no immediate plans to accept Bitcoin, but Ariel Bardin, VP of Google Payments did request the original emailer start a Google Moderator discussion to see what users wanted Google to do with Bitcoin. The entire exchange was detailed on the Bitcoin section of Reddit.

Bitcoin has been on a steady rise over the last year, more than doubling in value over a few months. Even recent law enforcement actions against Tor network sites (where Bitcoin is very popular) and China’s crackdown on the currency haven’t dampened enthusiasm much — a single Bitcoin is still worth over $900. A year ago one Bitcoin could be exchanged for a mere $20.