This is only a casual thought; I'm certainly not anywhere near being able to roll it out.
Problem: a lot of noise gets made about two risks for average merchants who want to accept bitcoins.
- I can't take bitcoins and give goods instantly because they might be double spent
- I can't take bitcoins in place of fiat, because by the time they've cleared to my exchange account and I've sold them, the price volatility means I might have lost money.
Solution: me. I'm considering starting a service that takes these two risks on the chin on behalf of a customer. Pay me some percentage (TBD) of your bitcoins and I will instantly credit you with dollars (at a quoted rate) or bitcoins. I want to gauge interest.
If you offer your widget for sale for $23; you contact my website (say with a mobile app), and it looks at the volume available and says "I'll give $23 if you send 10 BTC to $SOME_BITCOIN_ADDRESS". That quote is then fixed in stone, and provided the transaction happens within some defined time limit, I will guarantee you your $23.
Similarly for a double spend prevention. "I'll give 9.99 BTC if you send 10 BTC to $SOME_BITCOIN_ADDRESS". The 9.99 BTC is guaranteed.
Essentially, I'm thinking it is insurance. On the whole, most trades won't be double spends, and there won't be huge movements, and even if there are, they will average out. Therefore I can offer to take the risk that the merchant doesn't want.
Obviously it relies on the merchant trusting me; but that's something that only established with time and evidence.