Fintech startup Square rolled out full support for Bitcoin to the majority of US customers this week, making it easier than ever to buy bitcoin -- and, as seems to be the prevailing trend this year -- sell it.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey revealed the rollout on Twitter, adding that the digital payments firm believes cryptocurrency can provide "greater financial access for all."
Instant buying (and selling, if you don’t want to hodl) of Bitcoin is now available to most Cash App customers. We support Bitcoin because we see it as a long-term path towards greater financial access for all. This is a small step.
We also made this! https://t.co/z3u0liDNk4
— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) January 31, 2018
Square had initially limited this feature -- which began as a pilot program in November -- to a small group of users, but it had gradually expanded it to more customers over the ensuing months. This comprehensive release comes, coincidentally, less than a week after stock brokerage app Robinhood announced that was launching a cryptocurrency trading platform in February.
US customers in 46 states can now use the Cash App -- which has more than 5 million downloads from the Google Play store and ranks third among finance apps in Apple's App Store -- to buy, hodl, and sell BTC. At present, residents of Georgia, New York, Hawaii, and Wyoming are excluded, likely because they have more restrictive regulations for cryptocurrency-related transactions.
Upon testing the app for the first time, one comes to the conclusion that it is quite possibly the easiest way to buy bitcoin.
After creating an account, you can instantly fund your wallet by connecting it to your debit card.
Once your wallet has been funded, you can enable Bitcoin functionality on your account page and will then be allowed to buy and sell Bitcoin on the platform.
The entire process takes seconds, and -- unlike Coinbase and other cryptocurrency brokerage firms -- Square does not charge any additional transaction fees or commissions for the service.
As easy as Square Cash makes it to buy bitcoin, however, there are a couple factors of which you should be aware before you use it. The weekly purchase limit is $10,000 (there is no limit on sales), but investors who are placing orders larger than this are likely doing so through services that offer more features anyway. As the service will likely attract many first-time Bitcoin buyers, funds remain in Square's custody, although you can withdraw them to a personal wallet after performing minimal know-your-customer (KYC) verification.
It is not immediately clear what measures Square has taken to secure customer funds, which you should keep in mind if you are considering holding a large balance through the app.
Finally, Bitcoin has not yet been integrated into the Cash App's core functionality, which is to seamlessly send payments to other users of the app, and Square has not stated whether it intends to add this feature at a later date.
Featured image from Square Cash.