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Square tests buying and selling bitcoin inside its payment app

You can store it, but not send it -- for now.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
November 15, 2017
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Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Square Cash moved beyond sending money in February 2016 when it started letting users store their funds in account reserves, digital wallet-style. Starting today, you can use the service's mobile app to stash another type of currency: bitcoin. But only select users are seeing the feature.

"We're always listening to our customers and we've found that they are interested in using the Cash app to buy bitcoin," a Square spokesperson told Engadget when reached for comment. "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."

Currently, users can only buy, sell and store bitcoin -- not send them to other users. Given cryptocurrency's volatile nature, the service's cautious rollout makes sense. But bitcoin is certainly the biggest fish in that sea -- and it's having a banner year, climbing in value from just under $1000 per unit in January to a peak of over $7000 this month.

Despite all the ransomware and scandals associating the leading cryptocurrency with shadier corners of the internet, exchanges keep building out their bitcoin infrastructure. And with America's cash future veering further away from paper money and toward cards and apps, maybe Square Cash is wise to try combining its service with tomorrow's currency.

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