The patent application states that the technology will enable a person to pay in any currency, and allow the recipient to receive that payment in whatever currency they choose, with the network itself automatically changing the first payment into the desired currency.
Letting crypto-to-fiat payments flourish will give cryptocurrencies a boost. Several of them are too volatile or not fast enough to become an effective payment option, but they can now blend seamlessly with other currency types. The technology may also be extended in the future to cover securities, derivations or loans.
By allowing users to pay and receive in any denomination, the system will remove boundaries, Square said. It will be especially viable for the retail sector, as many merchants can’t accept payments like cryptocurrencies — the payments would take hours to process, and the value could rise or fall dramatically in that time.
Square also announced on Tuesday (Jan. 21) that it is in the process of creating a “Lightning Development Kit” for eWallet developers. The kit will include “an API, language tools, demo apps and other features” to help Lightning payments integrate with various wallets, and aid bitcoin in becoming a more widely used currency.
In addition, Square has been making moves in the payment sphere, such as opening up its Cash App to let users purchase stocks. The app, which has 15 million active users every month, lets customers buy stocks for as little as $1.
Dorsey, a vocal proponent of bitcoin, has said that he believes it to be a strong and viable currency — due to its longevity, strong brand and overall quality — as a way to make payments. For this reason, he doesn’t want to develop his own cryptocurrency, but focus on boosting bitcoin.