Square’s stock, listed as SQ on the New York Stock Exchange, has rallied from USD 36 to USD 58 (+61%) since it added Bitcoin functionality to its popular Square Cash app in November 2017. This has resulted in the stock’s market cap increasing over USD 8 billion, to USD 23 billion. This is the highest Square’s stock has ever been.
Square is a company which originally processed credit and debit card transactions for merchants, before releasing Square Cash, which is an extremely popular mobile app that people use to send money to each other instantly with credit or debit cards. Money can be instantly deposited into a user’s bank from a Square Cash account, and there is also a Square Cash card that users can take to an ATM and get cash out. These features have made Square Cash an excellent way for some users to transfer money instantly, far faster and cheaper than Western Union or MoneyGram if the receiver is equipped with the right card.
In November 2017, Square Cash added Bitcoin functionality to a limited set of users in a beta test, before opening up Bitcoin service to all of its Square Cash customers in the United States. Users can buy and sell Bitcoin on Square Cash at no fees. There is a margin of 1-2% between the buy and sell prices though, which is standard for Bitcoin exchanges and is how Square Cash makes money. Most other Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase charge additional fees and are potentially more expensive than Square Cash.
Now that Square Cash has Bitcoin, it offers some a far better and cheaper option to buy and sell Bitcoin, when compared to a Bitcoin ATM which often charges fees of 5-10%. It can also be more efficient than Bitcoin exchanges, since Square Cash deposits money instantly while exchanges can take 2 to 5 days.
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