A bitcoin-buying feature helped Square’s stock price, but the news is even better for bitcoin

Look at that stock price go.
Look at that stock price go.
Image: Reuters/Lucas Jackson
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Jack Dorsey’s other company, the payments firm Square, introduced a feature to buy, sell, and hold bitcoin in its Square Cash app in the past week, Forbes reported. This was rolled out to a “small number” of Square Cash users to start with, the firm said in a statement. It was good for Square’s stock, which rose up to 5% in intraday trading.

Square is already having a good year, with its stock up nearly 200% in 2017 so far. Dorsey has long talked up the potential of cryptocurrencies, calling it “the next big unlock” in technology. It looks like Square’s users also shared this view, and have been asking the firm for a bitcoin feature. “We’ve found that they are interested in using the Cash app to buy bitcoin,” Square said in a statement. “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 is the firm’s peer-to-peer payments service—a little like Venmo—and it’s free to use. Dorsey has been cagey about releasing numbers, but we know it processed $1 billion in transactions two years after its launch, thanks to IPO documents in 2015. Square has successfully introduced fees to generate revenue from Square Cash in recent months, and a bitcoin brokerage service with a slick design and user experience could be worth paying for.

The bitcoin feature wasn’t just good for Square: it turned out to be even better for bitcoin. Market pundit Jim Cramer pronounced the move “big” for Square and something that would normalize cryptocurrencies for the mainstream. “I think this is something big and it’s going to drive Square up, and it’s going to make people feel better about bitcoin,” he said on a CNBC broadcast.

Just how good was Square’s move for bitcoin? The cryptocurrency gained about 12% yesterday following the Square news.