For the last four years, Square Cash has been a popular person-to-person payment app, but now Square Inc. is adding another function: buying and selling Bitcoin. The San Francisco payments company is testing the new feature with an undisclosed number of Square Cash users, according to the company and users’ tweets reported by news outlets.
The test began last week with a small number of users, some of whom noticed the feature and reported it on Twitter. In a statement Square released to Digital Transactions News and other news sources, the company said users “are interested in using the Cash App to buy Bitcoin. 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. 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.”
Square Cash allows users to send and receive money via debit cards. It competes with a raft of P2P services, including PayPal Holdings Inc.’s Venmo and Zelle, a new service from many of the nation’s banks.
While there is no indication so far that Square intends to allow Cash users to send or receive Bitcoin, some analysts aren’t ruling out the possibility that the company could ultimately support Bitcoin acceptance for Square merchants. “[Square] is … well-positioned to enable crypto transactions at the physical point of sale,” wrote Paul Condra and Mrinalini Bhutoria, analysts at Credit Suisse, early Wednesday, as reported by CNBC.
As of Wednesday, Bitcoin is trading above $7,000 again after falling into the $5,000 region last week. News of the Square Cash pilot accounts for some of the upward momentum, CNBC was reporting by mid-morning.
Bitcoin’s $120-billion market capitalization has caught the attention of mainstream players besides Square. Next month, CME Group Inc., the world’s largest exchange group, plans to introduce a futures contract for the digital currency.