Square, a financial services aggregator and mobile payment company, was revealed to have won a patent for “cryptocurrency payment network”. Public documents published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) shows that Square’s patent filed in September of 2017 has been accepted.
In the application, Square stated that the technology behind the new payment system would allow the customer to pay in any currency and the merchant to be paid in another. Circle asserted that such a system would not only add versatility to the method of payment, but also overcome “drawbacks such as delays in processing”.
Square argued for the utility of cryptocurrencies, stating that “holders of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not tied to any government, are decentralized, and allow direct transactions, while still maintaining the trust and stability of fiat currencies”. Square also suggested that Bitcoin was specifically extraordinary, saying that it “appears more than a passing fad” and that it has “significant economic potential”.
The problem for cryptocurrency, Square writes, has been the lack of acceptance and latency in processing. However, Square intends to solve both these issues through its cryptocurrency payment network. The network would allow Square’s millions of merchants to accept cryptocurrencies from customers, and Square also believes it has a solution to Bitcoin’s latency problem (for Square customers and merchants).
Although Circle would not be developing the first payment service to allow transactions through cryptocurrency between customers and merchants, Square’s steps toward cryptocurrency implementation is significant because of its already extensive reach. It is reported that 2 million sellers use Square, along with 7 million Square Cash App users. So far, Square’s service is only available in 5 countries (UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, and U.S.), but Square is sure to expand soon.