Users of Square’s Cash App have benefited from zero fees on sending and receiving money. Now they can buy and sell Bitcoin too; provided, that is, they don’t live in a handful of states where brokerage regulations are more restrictive.
Square’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, also heads up Twitter, where he announced the move. “Instant buying (and selling, if you don’t want to hodl) of Bitcoin is now available” he said. As well as taking advantage of the increased interest in cryptocurrencies, apparently Square is also motivated by the potential Bitcoin has for financial inclusion. ‘We support Bitcoin because we see it as a long-term path towards greater financial access for all”, Dorsey said.
As part of widening the pool of potential Bitcoin investors Square have created a simple overview of the cryptocurrency called “My First Bitcoin”.
Cash App users will be able to buy $10,000 worth of Bitcoin per week, which at current prices means you could get a whole one. Selling will not be subject to limits. As with their cash transfers, Cash App will not charge transaction fees on Bitcoin purchases or sales. Their quoted price will be an average of major exchange prices.
Users’ Bitcoin will be kept centrally, but users will be able to transfer their holdings to their private wallets. However, at the moment they will not be able to transfer Bitcoin user-to-user.
Square also operate point-of-sale technology for merchants. The move into the cryptocurrency space opens up an intriguing possibility that at some point the businesses will converge and Square will enable cryptocurrency payments through their point-of-sale terminals, truly taking Bitcoin into the mainstream economy. Square’s shares rose 3% on the news.
2018 has been a difficult so far for Bitcoin, with Facebook banning cryptocurrency adverts and regulators worldwide clamping down. One bright spot has been the expansion of trading options. Mobile app Robinhood announced last week that they too would offer cryptocurrency trading and have been rewarded with a waiting list of 1 million people.
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