bitcoin ebay paypal braintree
Bitcoin payments could be integrated into mobile apps Uber, AirBnB and GitHub as part of the agreement.Reuters

EBay payments unit Braintree is in talks with Coinbase and other bitcoin transaction services to discuss the possibility of accepting the virtual currency as a form of payment, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Any agreement would reportedly not include eBay or its subsidiary PayPal, but could include popular mobile applications Uber, Airbnb and GitHub.

This would provide a much needed boost to bitcoin, which has seen its price plummet by around 20% in the last month amid warnings from US watchdogs that the cryptocurrency ecosystem is a virtual "Wild West".

A future deal with the online retail giant is however expected. EBay CEO John Donahue has previously stated that he is "actively considering" a move to include bitcoin payments.

"I think there's no doubt digital currency is going to play an important role going forward, and at PayPal, we're going to have to integrate digital currencies into our wallet," Donahue told CNBC in June.

"I don't know how big it will get, how quickly, but I do think the underlying theme is (that) a digital currency is something we're aware of and something we're going to pay attention to."

Over 60,000 merchants around the world accept bitcoin, the biggest of which is online retail giant Overstock. 

Patrick Byrne, the CEO of Overstock, recently announced that the introduction of bitcoin infrastructure into its payment process would result in a rise of four cents per share for the company.

Overstock began accepting bitcoin payments in January 2014 and has since made more than $2m (£1.2m) in sales through the virtual currency. According to Byrne, that accounts for around 0.25% of total sales.