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Bitcoin key to future of online payments: EBay CEO

EBay chief John Donahoe says he sees bitcoin and other digital currencies playing an "important role" in PayPal, the e-commerce giant's Internet payment platform.

"We're going to have to integrate digital currencies in our wallet," Donahoe said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

While refusing to say when, the eBay CEO talked broadly about the advantages of bitcoin and why he owns some. "I'm not buying it as an investment. I'm buying it to understand how it can be used."

"I think there are two sides of it, the investment side and the digital currency side," he continued in the interview, which aired Thursday. "I'm more interested in the digital currency side about how you and I can exchange value seamlessly using technology."

Read More3 reasons Wall Street can't stay away from bitcoin

Andreessen on bitcoin

Long-time bitcoin advocate Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, further explained bitcoin's dual-track.

"We're investing. We're still in it. But we're a venture capital firm. We can take these kind of extreme bets," he said on CNBC. "Is it guaranteed to work? No. If it works, is it important and very valuable? Yes."

"The other part is bitcoin (is) a technology, completely independent of the currency," he added. "The technology platform is incredibly valuable."

And yes, Andreessen thinks Warren Buffett, who's criticized bitcoin, is still wrong.

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Bitcoin comeback

Bitcoin has been on a major comeback recently—rising 80 percent from its spring lows, on news of wider acceptance—like the announcement last week from Dish Network that made it the largest company to accept the digital currency.

Read MoreBitcoin is back: Price quietly jumps 80%

Payment processor Coinbase will handle the digital currency for Dish, instantly converting bitcoins into dollars to eliminate price volatility concerns for the satellite TV company.

Bitcoin's biggest wallet service

Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, appearing Thursday on "Squawk Box," predicted that "over the next three months, you'll see another couple billion-dollar retailers on board."

Lord & Taylor and Overstock are already taking bitcoin.

Over time, Donahoe sees more and more merchants accepting bitcoin. "I think you'll begin to see bitcoin used in different ... cases, whether it's a peer-to-peer use case, a cross-border transaction, someone's sending currency to someone else."

This week, Apple's new App Store Review Guidelines added a provision to allow software developers include virtual-currency transactions in their applications.

Previously on Android devices only, Coinbase's app will now be available on Apple's iOS.

"It's only for sending and receiving bitcoin, not buying and selling [bitcoin] per their guidelines," Ehrsam said. "It enables people to use bitcoin in a more easy way."

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