It looks like Google has finally jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon. In a new update to its popular Payment Request API, the tech titan added the ability to request bitcoin payments.
This news came with little fanfare, just a small blip in a much larger API update from WebFundamentals contributor Matt Gaunt.
The update mainly consisted of a tutorial on how to use the new features of the update. Towards the bottom of the blog post, Gaunt explained how the API can be used:
“Invalid Currency: The currency code must be three uppercase characters; passing in anything else will throw an error.
‘PaymentRequest’: ‘…’ is not a valid ISO 4217 currency code, should be 3 upper case letters [A-Z]
You can pass in any three characters and it will be treated as a valid currency code.The reason for this is that it allows support for future currencies. For example, bitcoin can be supported with its currency code ‘XBT’.
The currency code is always displayed in Google Chrome at the time of writing, but only known currencies will include the currency character with amounts; otherwise only the currency code is shown. Compare the screenshots below for ‘USD’ and ‘XBT’.”
Bitcoin Payments for Everyone?
What are the implications of this update? In theory, anyone that uses Google’s Payment Request API can accept bitcoin in their online stores.
According to Gaunt, the new functionality that enables bitcoin payments is meant for accepting future payment methods that don’t fall under the official list of methods.
So, in theory, the API could support any currency as long as it has a three-letter code. Talk about competing currencies; merchants can potentially accept any digital currency under the sun.
By using bitcoin as an example for how this new utility works, though, Gaunt — intentionally or not — has suggested that the future might already be here.
Do you think Google’s new update is significant for Bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Images via Google, Recode