PayPal has had talks about its well-regarded mobile payments subsidiary Braintree accepting payment via the Bitcoin virtual currency, said The Wall Street Journal.

US firm Braintree has rapidly built a significant reputation as a processor of mobile and online payments. Its client list includes apps such as Airbnb and Uber.

According to sources, PayPal execs have met in recent weeks with several Bitcoin firms, including Coinbase. No timing is given for an agreement.

Such a deal would be a boost for the virtual currency. There is no suggestion at present of PayPal itself, or indeed parent eBay, accepting the Bitcoin currency.

eBay acquired Braintree a year ago for $800 million to boost its mobile payments credentials.