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(Pocket-lint) - The online currency Bitcoin has just grown even stronger after eBay announced that it will start accepting payments in Bitcoin.

The eBay PayPal payment service will allow Bitcoin payments over the coming months as merchants become able to accept the virtual currency. This opens the online currency up to PayPal's 152 million registered accounts – a huge burst in potential use of the currency.

All this comes at a time when Apple has finally announced its move into tap-to-pay with its new Watch featuring NFC. The Apple Watch will allow users to pay by contactless using the Watch which will be linked to their credit cards. It's one step closer to bringing virtual currencies into the real world for contactless payments in stores.

The actual payment service that makes this all possible is the eBay owned Braintree. This is also the service that makes payments on Airbnb and Uber possible. Apple mentioned Uber payments via the Watch would be built into its Apple Pay service. Clearly a deal has already been made so to include Bitcoin may not be as far off as we had once thought.

Here's hoping virtual currency becomes more mainstream soon, bringing better anonymity and greater freedom for all.

READ: What is Apple Watch and what can it do?

Writing by Luke Edwards. Originally published on 10 September 2014.