Digital payments firm Square has won a patent for a payment network that allows merchants to accept payments in any currency, including bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
Square Wins Patent for Crypto Payment Network
Public documents published on Aug. 21 show that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved Square’s application to patent a system that allows merchants to accept cryptocurrencies alongside conventional payment methods and cash out in their currency of choice. The San Francisco-based firm first filed for the patent in Sept. 2017.
From the patent:
“The 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.)… than a traditional payment system in a transaction between a customer and a merchant, and specifically for a payment service to solve or ameliorate problems germane to transactions with such currencies. Specifically, the payment service described herein can facilitate real-time (or substantially real-time) transactions, allowing a customer to pay in any currency of their choice, while the merchant can receive payment in a currency of their choice.”
Square would not be the first payment processor to allow merchants to accept payments in cryptocurrency that are automatically converted into local currency. BitPay, for instance, has been processing bitcoin payments since 2011.
However, Square already has tremendous market penetration, so adding cryptocurrency payments to its present POS system would allow millions of merchants to accept bitcoin without having to onboard to another payment processor or manually convert cryptocurrency funds into fiat.
Eliminating Bitcoin Transaction Latency
Notably, the patent also details a process that allows the POS system eliminate latency in cryptocurrency transactions, ensuring that even bitcoin transactions (often criticized for their slower confirmation times) can be approved at roughly the same speed as a credit card transaction…