Bitcoin is looking like the consolation prize for companies that lost out on the Apple Pay sweepstakes. Square will be adding Bitcoin support in addition to supporting Apple Pay, based on comments from CEO Jack Dorsey.
Square declined to comment.
CBCNews reported that Dorsey visited the new Canada offices for Square and spoke to employees about adding Apple Pay support. “We’re building a register so that sellers can accept a credit card, so they can accept cash, so they can accept a cheque, so they can accept Bitcoin and so they can accept any form of payment that comes across the counter including future ones and burgeoning ones like Apple Pay,” said Dorsey.
The problem is that there’s no timetable on from Square on when their merchants will be able to accept Apple Pay. Will it be available in October, at the same time as Apple Pay? We’ve reached out to Square for a timetable and will update this post accordingly when they respond.
Square currently supports bitcoin for Square Market, but not the register. Adding bitcoin support for its thousands of merchants, including Whole Foods and other large retailers. At TechCrunch Disrupt on September 8th, Braintree CEO Bill Ready announced that Braintree would be adding bitcoin support to its tech stack to enable its customers to accept bitcoin payments. Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch was the next day.
Adding bitcoin support is important for the bitcoin community, but reputable industry experts have expressed worries that many companies are looking to add bitcoin more as a marketing ploy than anything else. Take Braintree’s announcement for example: While eBay and PayPal have expressed interest in accepting bitcoin, neither company made a similar announcement to subsidiary Braintree. With BitLicense’s hovering overhead, the bitcoin startup community is worried about tough regulation. Why would a tech company want to get involved in that?
On the other hand, Square’s direct influence on terminals make them better positioned to impact bitcoin adoption. This move would not only help Square make a “wallet”-like service for bitcoin users popular, but also potentially lead to bitcoin owners becoming Square users.
Correction: We added that Square Market supports Bitcoin.