Mobile payment system Square is no innovation. Best known for their smartphone plug-in credit card readers, the company has already helped to redefine how transactions work in the internet age. Continuing in that vein, Square announced today the addition of bitcoin payment support to their Etsy-like online marketplace Square Market.
Sellers should never miss a sale. We’re building tools so sellers can accept any form of payment their customers want to use. Making commerce easy means creating easy ways to exchange value for everything from a massage to a DODOcase for your iPad. … In that spirit, starting today, buyers can purchase goods and services on Square Market with Bitcoin.
The current system is fairly barebones, working much like other experimental bitcoin payment systems. The shopping cart experience is identical to a normal transaction until payment is initiated. After a payment page is launched, a unique address is generated and a QR code shown to the buyer. The address is monitored for a transaction, and once payment has been received the buyer is taken to the next step in the ordering process. Square Market also claims to have support for hosted wallets, such as those provided by Coinbase or Blockchain.
Square Market doesn’t appear to support direct bitcoin transactions, however, instead converting bitcoin purchases directly into USD at the current exchange rate. According to a report on TechCrunch, Square is working with Coinbase to provide the currency exchange service.
Should the Square Market experiment prove successful, it’s certainly plausible that Square would begin experimenting with allowing bitcoin payments for their mobile and retail customers. Currently valued at $5 billion, Square is one of the largest companies to adopt bitcoin in any capacity.