Finance: Square is unleashing crypto onto more of its Cash App users

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    jack dorsey

    The expansion of the service comes after some major gains for bitcoin.

    • Square, the mobile-payments company, has been allowing some of its users to buy and sell bitcoin on its Cash App.
    • The company said on Tuesday it was rolling out the service to additional users.

    Square is increasing the number of people eligible to buy and sell bitcoin on its Cash App, the company founded by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Twitter Tuesday.

    The company has been running a trial on Cash App, a rival to Venmo, that has allowed only a small number of users to purchase bitcoin.

    Here's the announcement of the expansion on Cash App's Twitter account:

    A person familiar with the expansion told Business Insider it represents a “sizeable and noticeable increase.”

    The expansion of the service comes after some major milestones in the crypto world. Since news broke on November 14 of the Square's foray into bitcoin, two major US exchanges announced the specific launch date for their respective bitcoin futures contracts and the total market-cap for the crypto-market blew past $300 billion.

    Square said in mid-November it added the feature to Cash App because users asked for it.

    “We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system, and we're excited to learn more here,” the company said in the statement.

    At first, Wall Street responded positively to the news. It sent the stock up 20% to an all-time high near $50 per share on November 24. The stock ended the trading day Tuesday at $37.60 per share.

    A full roll-out of the feature would put Square up against cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini.

    A research note penned by Credit Suisse analysts Paul Condra and Mrinalini Bhutoria said the move could be a tailwind for the company, despite some hurdles. Here’s the bank (emphasis ours):

    “Given SQ’s tendency to move judiciously into new technologies, we expect it will do the same with bitcoin purchases. We believe the largest risk is regulation, which could limit its ability to provide the service or outright ban it. SQ is also exposed to liquidity and counterparty risk as it must source bitcoin for users either by pre-buying or using an exchange. Despite these risks, the upside could be significant if crypto currencies become more mainstream.”

    The venture, Credit Suisse said, could ultimately translate into $30 million in additional revenues.

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