Square merchants who sell in the online Square Market can now accept payments in Bitcoin.

The new feature appears on the checkout page for any Square Market purchase. Sales totals are displayed to shoppers in dollars and the equivalent amount of bitcoins, allowing consumers to determine ahead of time if they have the right amount of bitcoins.

"Sellers should never miss a sale," says Ajit Varma, Square market lead, in a March 31 blog post explaining the new feature. "We're building tools so sellers can accept any form of payment their customers want to use. Making commerce easy means creating ways to exchange value."

After a consumer chooses to pay in bitcoins, Square generates a Bitcoin address and attaches it to the order. Square monitors this address throughout the checkout process so it knows when it has received payment. Buyers can pay either with a mobile Bitcoin wallet app or with a hosted wallet, Varma says.

The seller receives the purchase amount in dollars. "For sellers, the experience won't feel any different," Varma writes.

But the new payment form carries at least one change from the seller's perspective. Square notes on its help page that with Bitcoin payments, "disputes should be resolved between the Square merchant and buyer, without Square's intervention." With card payments, Square holds onto the funds until the dispute is resolved and then passes the funds along to the prevailing party.

Square is working with the Bitcoin merchant services provider Coinbase to handle Bitcoin payments, Square spokesperson Semonti Stephens said in an email to PaymentsSource.

Square Market launched in January 2013 as an online storefront for merchants who accept payments through the Square Register app. Merchants can populate their online stores with product listings they create in the Square Register app.

Overstock.com, another online marketplace, began accepting bitcoin payments in late 2013. Stripe, a payment processor, also recently announced support for Bitcoin.

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