Ripple allows payments to any Bitcoin address straight from its client

sounds interesting, a new thing on the horizon

Gigaom

Remember OpenCoin’s Ripple, the distributed currency exchange that’s trying to court the Bitcoin crowd? Well, the Google(s goog)-backed venture is stepping up that mission with a new feature called Bitcoin Bridge, which makes it easier to pay people using the crypto-currency.

Bitcoin Bridge, announced on Tuesday at Bitcoin London, makes it possible to pay any Bitcoin user straight from the Ripple client, with money going in as traditional currency and coming out as Bitcoin. According to Chris Larsen, CEO of OpenCoin, it serves as a “powerful demonstration” of what Ripple can do:

“Now, anyone can send Bitcoins without having to use a central exchange. At the same time, any merchant accepting Bitcoins now has the potential to accept any currency in the world.”

It’s quite simple to use: enter a Bitcoin address and choose how much you want to send and in which currency. The conversion takes place fee-free…

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