The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has begun working on a new cryptocurrency-supported payment standard that may one day appear in Chrome, Safari, Edge, and other browsers.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have not only seen stunning growth this year, but have further become the focus of interest amongst many potential investors – and now the W3C has announced its work on a new payment standard that will support cryptocurrency.
What does this mean? In layman’s terms, we may one day see popular browsers such as Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera, support transactions through not only fiat currencies, but further cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
The W3C announced this Thursday that its new Payment Request API will allow new payment types – including Bitcoin, Ether, and other available cryptocurrencies – to be stored directly within a browser when enabled.
Consumers will, in future, be able to select a drop-down list of supported payment methods when checking out at an online store. The news will see developers able to craft code for payment methods that they’d like to see online.
Though the news is significant for those who own cryptocurrency and would prefer to use their accumulated Bitcoin or Ether to make purchases online, the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a payment standard will still depend on merchants willing to accept such currencies as tender in the first place.
The move will, at the very least, make it far easier for merchants to accept payment through cryptocurrencies in online stores. Ian Jacobs, head of the W3C’s payments activity, told CoinDesk that he expects the API to be widely deployed by the middle of next year.
What are your thoughts? Would you leap at the chance to make purchases with cryptocurrency online if your favourite merchants accepted them as tender? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!