Technology

Payments provider Square has won a U.S. patent for a new network that enables seamless crypto-to-fiat transactions.

Granted Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent details a payments system allowing users holding different asset types to transact with one another in real-time.

“The present technology permits a first party to pay in any currency, while permitting the second party to be paid in any currency,” reads Square’s application. The network itself can automatically exchange the sender’s payment into the asset specified by the receiver.

This new system could be especially advantageous for the retail sector, according to the filing. Many cryptocurrencies are too volatile and too slow to become an effective payments solution. Few merchants can feasibly accept a payments method that takes hours to process when the value may swing wildly.

But Square thinks it can “remove barriers” with a system that features automatic exchange and real-time settlements. Consumers can pay in their preferred asset – using a privacy coin to keep their identities secret, for example – and merchants receive the full value in an asset they want to hold.

The patent suggests the system could be extended to add support for other asset classes including securities, derivatives or loans.

Square integrated bitcoin in 2018 and Dorsey has said multiple times he believes BTC could become the “native currency” for the internet. Square has generally been reticent on other cryptocurrencies. Asked if the firm planned to add support for other digital coins, the head of the cryptocurrency team said last summer the team remained focused on bitcoin and would continue supporting its network development and mass-adoption.

Square also announced in a blog post Tuesday that it would be releasing a new “Lightning Development Kit”, enabling wallet and app developers to create new layer-2 solutions on top of the bitcoin protocol.

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