Square's merchants are willing to accept bitcoin, survey says

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More than half of the retailers that use Square Inc.’s technology at the checkout stand would take Bitcoin as a form of payment, according to a new study.

In a survey of around 100 U.S. merchants, Nomura Instinet found that 60 percent would accept Bitcoin in lieu of dollars. Respondents spanned various industries and had at least $100,000 of annual revenue. The 31-40 age group had the highest representation, with about 40 percent of participants falling under that category.

“This result is surprising, especially amid Bitcoin’s elevated volatility,” Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Dolev wrote in a report Wednesday.

High fees, slow transaction times and extreme volatility have made many skeptical that Bitcoin can succeed as a legitimate form of payment. While the network has become more efficient in recent months, it’s still tough to find retailers that are willing to accept digital currencies. Only 28 restaurants in the New York City area take Bitcoin, according to Yelp.

In November, Square started letting some customers buy Bitcoin on its Cash App, which lets users send money to friends. The company said in January that it was rolling out the option to almost all users.

“Bitcoin, for us, is not stopping at buying and selling,” Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said on the firm’s fourth-quarter earnings call in February. “We do believe that this is a transformational technology for our industry and we want to learn as quickly as possible.”

Bloomberg News
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