Square, the San Francisco-based mobile payment processing company, has now received the stamp of approval from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on a new type of payment system utilizing cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, this new system would in effect allow merchants to accept any and all currencies – including virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
This system could give merchants far greater flexibility in how they handle payments, as they could accept both traditional fiat currency payment methods along with cryptocurrencies.
In Square’s patent application, which was filed nearly a year ago on September 22, the firm explains that ”[t]he disclosed technology addresses the need in the art for a payment service capable of accepting a greater diversity of currencies […] including virtual currencies including cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ether, etc).”
Moreover, Square’s patent details a payment system in which cryptocurrency payments would be processed without any delay compared to credit card payments, with the use of a private blockchain which documents transactions as they occur.
Square is an established name for merchants and has been integral in furthering the adoption of card payments – through the use of counter-mounted or mobile card readers.
Square, however, is no stranger to cryptocurrencies. The company received a ”New York BitLicense” this June, which allows the company to offer Bitcoin trading services in New York.
At the time, an observer noted that this was the ”missing piece in [Square’s] puzzle.” Moreover, Square’s cryptocurrency-compatible trading application Square Cash has also grown dramatically in 2018, despite generally bearish market sentiment.
It should be noted that awarding this patent to Square is no guarantee that the firm will eventually use it. However, the previous paragraph details that Square has previously been explicitly interested in cryptocurrencies.
In addition to this, Square’s CEO Jack Dorsey – of Twitter fame – is an avid cryptocurrency supporter, who has noted that he hopes Bitcoin will become the ”internet’s native currency” and that people should ”help it happen.”
Although other companies have promised to integrate cryptocurrency payments in shopping, such as the Microsoft and Starbuck-backed startup Bakkt, or BitPay’s payment processing system, Square’s potential entry in the space would be a major disruptor.
Square is a far more established actor, and one which countless merchants are already working with. If Square indeed chooses to use this patent, it could very well boost cryptocurrency adoption dramatically.
Image Source: “Flickr”
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.