Sunday, January 29, 2023

Square Widens Bitcoin Buying to New Users: a Quick Picture Guide

Square Widens Bitcoin Buying to New Users: a Quick Picture Guide

After popular payments provider Square Inc. announced a bitcoin buying beta last November for its Cash app, the company has been steadily expanding the functionality to new users. Now that more mainstream buyers have access to the bitcoin beta than ever before, Bitsonline walks you through what newcomers are seeing in their apps. 

Also see: TNABC Miami 2018 Video Report: Patrick Byrne Says Blockchain Will Eliminate Poverty

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Keep It Simple, Stupid: Streamlined UI

Watch out Coinbase and Blockchain, because non-blocktech payments provider Square is officially trying to come shoulder to shoulder with the industry insiders at their own game: bitcoin trading.

Since the middle of Q4 2017, Square has been expanding its bitcoin beta for users of its smartphone payments app Square Cash. Now, those who have been given access to the program need only swipe right with their Cash Card in their Cash dashboard to start buying bitcoin.

For those who have beta access, swiping right brings you to the following minimalistic interface:


Note the slider toward the bottom of the screen. The slider allows users to easily glide through different prices, like $5 USD, or $50, or $500, and so on. Alternatively, you can swipe a number box up and enter more specific numbers. The buy limit is set at $10,000 for now.

Once you have your desired purchase amount set, you’ll be asked to confirm your purchase, and then you’re done.


Per a summary section within the Cash app, the price of bitcoins at the time of purchase or sale are “calculated using the current market rate across the most popular U.S. exchanges.” At present, the beta doesn’t charge conversion fees on bitcoin transactions.

Importantly, though, the Cash app exclusively supports buying and selling bitcoins at this stage — there is no functionality for users within the beta to receive or send bitcoins and then trade them, as users can on cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini.

Competition Mounts in “Crypto Gateway” Space

There’s a rat race in the United States currently over who will become the premier cryptocurrency “gateway” exchange for the coming herd of mainstream adopters.

Coinbase is the most dominant and entrenched player in the arena by far and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. But that doesn’t mean it can sleep on contenders who are bringing potentially stiff competition from just about every direction.

Blockchain, an already hugely popular bitcoin wallet, announced this month that it’s going to start opening up buy functionalities to its mammoth user base. Now, Square is doing the same, just from the angle of an already hugely popular USD wallet.

But Square’s going to have to get used to the crowd, too. The stock trading app Robinhood just declared that as of February it will allow users to sell ether and bitcoin with zero transaction fees. That perk is sure to be a hit with penny-pinchers in the space.

What’s your take? Have you tried buying bitcoin on Square Cash yet? Would you buy BTC or ETH through Robinhood? Let us know below!

Featured image via CardTrak; screenshots via Conor Cleary

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