Square Is Letting You Buy Bitcoin on Your PhoneBy
Payments firm lets some app users buy and sell digital tokens
Square started letting merchants accept bitcoin in 2014
Square Inc. may be next to share in bitcoin’s mindboggling gains.
The payments company is letting some users of its Square Cash app purchase bitcoin. Square Cash lets customers store money and send peer-to-peer payments without having to connect to a bank account. It recently rolled out a physical card to let consumers keep cash on its platform and spend directly from Square Cash.
“Given Square’s tendency to move judiciously into new technologies, we expect it will do the same with bitcoin purchases,” Credit Suisse AG analyst Paul Condra wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “The upside could be significant if cryptocurrencies become more mainstream.”
“We’re exploring how Square can make this experience faster and easier, and have rolled out this feature to a small number of Cash app customers,” the San Francisco-based company wrote in a statement Wednesday.
Square shares, which were up as much as 5 percent in early trading, have almost tripled this year as the firm has continuously beat earnings expectations. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey started letting merchants accept bitcoin in 2014, and has spoken fondly of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
“Bitcoin: we tried this with our ecommerce store years back. Didn’t see much. Would love to see a digital currency thrive,” Dorsey, who founded Twitter, said in a tweet last year.
PayPal is also in a good position to offer bitcoin services, Condra of Credit Suisse said, though regulatory uncertainty poses a significant risk to established companies getting into cryptocurrencies.
“If consumer demand increases for any new form of currency, we will consider support for those new payment methods as they become relevant to our customers over time,” Amanda Christine Miller, a spokeswoman for San Jose, California-based PayPal Holdings Inc., said in a statement.
— With assistance by Selina Wang, and Julie Verhage