Square, the digital payment firm, has won a patent allowing the firm to accept payments in any currency including Bitcoin and other digital assets.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office public documents show they have approved Square's application that allows them to accept cryptocurrency as well as conventional payment forms and cash out in the currency of their choice. The patent was first filed in September of 2017.
Quoting a portion of 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 is not the first payment provider to accept cryptocurrency as Bitpay has been since 2011. However, Square is one of the payment providers growing in popularity and use with large market penetration.
The patent goes on to detail how the POS system will allow Square to eliminate latency in cryptocurrency transactions, even Bitcoin, can be approved in relatively the same time as a credit card transaction.
Payment latency would be eliminated by having user funds custodied by the payment network and Square updating an internal ledger rather than writing to the blockchain. Square will use a private blockchain to manage transactions in real-time. Though this doesn't eliminate the possibility of a double spend it does remove the risk from the merchant to the payment provider.