PayPal to allow use of bitcoin, other cybercurrencies for shopping on its network

The San Jose-based company hopes the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that central banks and companies may develop, chief executive Dan Schulman said in an interview.

“We are working with central banks and thinking of all forms of digital currencies and how PayPal can play a role,” he said.

U.S. account holders will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their PayPal wallets over the coming weeks, the company said. PayPal plans to expand the service to its peer-to-peer payment app Venmo and some other countries in the first half of 2021.

The ability to make payments with cryptocurrencies will be available from early next year, the company said.

U.S.: Chinese company uses forced labor

The United States said it found “conclusive evidence” that a Chinese company used forced labor to make extracts of the sweetener stevia, with American ports now directed to seize any shipments.

Customs and Border Protection has “conclusive evidence” that Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Group Baoanzhao Agriculture, Industry and Trade used convict, forced or indentured labor to make the products and that they are being or are likely to be imported to the United States, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

Previously, in 2016, the agency temporarily detained these shipments based on “reasonable but inconclusive proof” of forced labor.

The move is the latest in a string in which the United States is raising pressure on China over some companies’ alleged ill treatment of workers. In September, CBP said it planned a so-called withhold release order, or WRO, covering all cotton, textile and tomato products from the country’s northwestern Xinjiang region, where predominantly Muslim minority groups are allegedly being repressed. China’s Foreign Ministry has denied the allegations.

In a statement to Bloomberg News on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s office said it wasn’t aware of the situation and accused the United States of previously “cooking up so-called forced labor issues against the facts.”

A Boeing plant in Arizona that builds Apache attack helicopters is under scrutiny by more than two dozen Army personnel after the company reported quality problems it says were caused by a negligent technician. The Army is evaluating whether the quality concerns involving testing and installation of potentially unsafe parts — which temporarily grounded 11 attack helicopters and prompted a delivery halt — were limited to the actions of the now-fired technician or are more systemic at the Mesa, Ariz., plant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve Zosano Pharma’s experimental treatment to relieve pain after the onset of migraine headaches, citing issues with its delivery during clinical trials, the company said on Wednesday. Zosano’s Qtrypta, a treatment containing microneedles that deliver a drug called zolmitriptan directly into the bloodstream through skin, was expected to compete with oral and injectable treatments for migraine headaches.

J.C. Penney believes it will emerge from bankruptcy protection before Christmas under a new ownership agreement that would save tens of thousands of jobs. The beleaguered century-old retailer said Wednesday that it has filed a draft asset purchase agreement with the two biggest mall owners in the United States. Substantially all of J.C. Penney’s retail and operating assets will be acquired by Brookfield Asset Management and Simon Property Group.

8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases weekly report on unemployment benefits.

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