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Square – the company headed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey – has successfully been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) which details a new payment network that would enable merchants to accept payments in any currency – including the likes of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – and then withdraw their currency of choice following a transaction.
The patent elaborates that:
“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.”
The patent describes methods through which a point-of-sale (POS) system could eliminate latency in cryptocurrency transactions to the point that both cryptocurrency and credit card transactions could process at the same speed.
The system would make this claim a possibility through managing a private blockchain that could record transactions from Square wallets. While this approach does not eliminate the potential for double-spend attacks, it does eliminate that risk from a merchant and places the onus on itself, instead.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey has previously gone on record as a Bitcoin supporter – noting that Bitcoin could become the world’s foremost means of exchange within the next ten years.
At the time, Dorsey quipped that Bitcoin’s market emergence will “probably take over ten years”, and went on to say that “The world ultimately will have a single currency, the Internet will have a single currency… I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin.”