Going Mainstream? Square Cash Starts Bitcoin Payments Beta

Going Mainstream? Square Cash Starts Bitcoin Payments Beta

Payments provider Square has launched a Bitcoin buy / sell functionality in its Cash app for a tiny group of test users. The functionality came to light after beta testers revealed the new BTC dashboard on Twitter.

Also read: WannaCry Cyberattackers Are Dumping Their BTC Into Monero

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Mobile payment company Square has caused a surge of buzz in the crypto space after a small, currently unknown number of Square Cash users just discovered a new Bitcoin marketplace dashboard in their apps.

The new functionality is an apparent beta program that Square is unfurling indefinitely.

Affected Square Cash app users will now be able to use the BTC market’s rudimentary (and still buggy) beta UI to buy and sell bitcoins with U.S. dollars.

In line with Square’s philosophy that “everyone should be able to participate and thrive in the economy,” Square’s officially given that maxim a new spin by greenlighting users’ access to the crypto economy.

Indeed, in a statement about the newly released Bitcoin functionality, the Square team said they saw the move as a natural fit for the company:

“We’re always listening to our customers, and we’ve found that they 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.”

And for a company that just had a $2.9 billion IPO on the New York Stock Exchange only two years ago, Square’s surging popularity could bring a whole new generation of mainstream users to Bitcoin and the crypto community in general if the Square Cash BTC market ends up being a success.

For now, the app does look promising, as beta-tester Zach Miles illustrated on Twitter:

The experience isn’t too far, then, from what users would be used to if they’ve used the Coinbase mobile app before. And, just like with Coinbase, users will face buying limitations – in the Cash app’s case, users will only be able to buy the BTC equivalent of their accounts’ max amount of USD.

And a true social media firestorm’s ensued in the wake of the Cash app’s new BTC perks. The buzz has been so incredible that beta-tester Miles is attributing his initial announcement tweet as causing Square’s current 4% shares’ rise.

Finding the Balance Between User-Friendliness and Security

If Square Cash’s Bitcoin market ends up being a success, then a slew of other payments titans like Venmo and PayPal could soon be playing catch-up with Square in the crypto rat race.

And it’s inevitable that as mainstream attention ratchets up around cryptocurrencies, so, too, will the attention of malicious hackers. For wherever there are potential exploits, there are blackhats probing for vulnerabilities.

These hackers see the surging prices of cryptocurrencies just like the rest of us. But they use their ensuing excitement to motivate themselves to steal crypto from others in the community.

Until now, these crypto thieves have routinely probed exchanges. With the arrival of Square Cash’s BTC market and the forthcoming copycats, these thieves will also surely probe the next-generation of handheld crypto-related apps, too.

Square Cash
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The balance that teams like Square will need to keep striking is the difficult trade-offs that user-friendliness and security often have at the expense of one another.

If they can find a way to make it work, they may just end up being among the first-movers in the major crypto payments companies space.

What’s your take? Do you think Square Cash’s new BTC functionalities will attract droves of new users over the long-term?


Images via CNN, Forbes

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