Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Square joins bitcoin revolution; SpherePay to launch own-brand cryptocurrency

Square joins bitcoin revolution; SpherePay to launch own-brand cryptocurrency

Square Inc. shares climbed after Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey said the company is introducing Bitcoin trading for nearly all users of its cash payments app, signaling support for the volatile cryptocurrency. The new feature is available to all Square customers except for those in New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming.

Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Dolev has a buy rating and sees shares rising about 37 percent to $64, but that's based on Square's opportunity to disrupt the payments industry, regardless of bitcoin. The company's CEO, Jack Dorsey, is also the co-founder and CEO of Twitter.

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The inclusion of Bitcon in the Square Cash application will indirectly encourage merchants to accept Bitcoin as payment, since Square operates on a PoS (Point of Sale) network. The update allows users to buy and sell bitcoin instantaneously on the app. "This is a small step", Dorsey said in a tweet.

The company also said it would not add other fees to bitcoin transactions and would calculate prices by looking across major exchanges.

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Customers are limited to $10,000 in bitcoin purchases a week through the app, but there is no limit to the amount that can be sold, Square said on its website. Of course many use Coinbase, but as one of the only legitimate options to buy and sell bitcoin the startup has suffered from tremendous growing pains and downtime during times of extreme traffic, especially when it comes to customer service.

"We've made it just as easy to buy and sell BTC straight from your Cash App balance - Unlike other apps, most of our buys and sells happen in seconds, and you can even spend your proceeds from a free Visa debit card". Also, Bitcoin has now slipped below $9500 mark and is currently trading at $9305.60, according to CoinMarketCap.

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