Square’s Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Leap and Lightning Plug

Square's Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Rise 6%, & Lightning Plug

Smartphone app payments company Square has had a pretty big week. It was revealed the company is further dipping its toes in the cryptosphere through a granted payments patent, and it’s causing quite a stir. Wall Street analysts have deemed the company a golden goose, thereby helping its stock price jump by 6%, and it’s finally getting an Apple-ready Lightning plug to ease users’ and merchants’ worries about design changes.

Also read: Venezuela Loves Dash: Altcoin Surges 30% on Adoption Push

Square Granted Patent for Crypto Payment Network

Merchants using the Square digital payments platform will soon be allowed to accept virtually any cryptocurrency, if the patent granted to the publicly traded company is to be believed. Ecosystem news outlet CCN appears first to have uploaded the 30-page approval document from the US Patent & Trademark Office. The company’s application was submitted Fall of last year, and the approval is dated from a few days ago.   

Converting from fiat currencies into crypto is something that has been done for years within the ecosystem by platforms such as Bitpay. The difference with Square is that it hits the crypto world already well established among millions of merchants. One of the most difficult aspects of spreading adoption among businesses is convincing them to also come along on other aspects of the infrastructure, from wallets to specialized point of sale systems. Square skips all of that, and thus its power.

Square's Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Rise 6%, & Lightning Plug

One immediate worry for any mainstream payments company dabbling in crypto is a possible slowdown in confirmations, as in the case of bitcoin core (BTC) during late 2017, impacting transaction times. According to the patent, Square has its own private blockchain, which could theoretically allow the company to monitor balances before final wiring/broadcasting. Double-spending is still possible, though difficult, but Square has smartly taken that burden off merchants and placed it on its own shoulders.

“The disclosed technology addresses the need in the art for a payment service capable of accepting a greater diversity of currencies,” the patent reads, “including virtual currencies including cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, ether, etc.)…than a traditional payment system in a transaction between a customer and a merchant, and specifically for a payment service to solve or ameliorate problems germane to transactions with such currencies. Specifically, the payment service described herein can facilitate real-time (or substantially real-time) transactions, allowing a customer to pay in any currency of their choice, while the merchant can receive payment in a currency of their choice.”

Square Lauded, Jumps 6%

The most highly touted crypto patent by a publicly traded company has been Bank of America (BA) adding to its collection. To anyone’s knowledge, BA has yet to act on any of them. Some have suggested they were only used as ways to market the legacy bank more than anything else. Square might be different here, again, though it doesn’t have to be. Its CEO has more or less predicted bitcoin core (BTC) will be a world standard currency within the decade.

Whatever the actual case, it has been a good week, news-wise, for Square. On top of making the ecosystem buzz with a crypto payments patent, its shares rose by 6% after Guggenheim showered it with praise as a “best idea” within the financial technology space. It went further, suggesting Square is its “highest conviction name” in the sector, and raised its price call from $75 to $100.

Square's Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Rise 6%, & Lightning Plug

In 2018 alone, the company’s stock price has boomed by more than 130%, and Guggenheim’s Jeff Cantwell noted, “We expect a strong rate of revenue growth for SQ which should drive further share price appreciation.” Much of that optimism is based around the company’s application, Cash App.

It eerily apes what original cryptos like BTC were meant to do: borderless money transfers, be a staple of micro finance, and even act as way to get at the unbanked. Mr. Cantwell continued, “We think Cash App’s future revenue potential is underappreciated, we see it providing a key ‘services’ role for the underbanked.” In this year’s second quarter, Cash App users spent a quarter of a billion dollars with its linked debit card, Cash Card.

Lightning

If patents and stock prices booming were not enough, the iconic smartphone reader and payments platform has also finally received a Lightning plug to make up for Apple’s ditching of a listenable headphone jack.

For Apple it was a matter of phone aesthetics and space. For Square users and merchants, it was a matter of financial life and death. Without the square reading block, usually white, the entire project goes out the window.

Square's Big Week: Crypto Patent, Shares Rise 6%, & Lightning Plug
Left is the old, clunky setup. Right, Lightning.

Ultimately its users found workarounds and adapted. It was a stroke of genius to initially re-purpose the headphones’ auxiliary, but it also left them, at least momentarily, exposed should a design change happen. Square would give in and sell a clunky adapter, but that obviously lessened some of the get-it-and-go cache the product was built upon.   

Returning to their initial business model, Square announced recently it will now offer an answer to Apple’s Lightning opening – that slim, rectangular entrance every Apple user is familiar when charging their phone. The plug will make the device compatible from 2012 products to the present day. The company can stay small, agile, and refrain from forcing its users into adapters. 

Is Square becoming an important part of crypto? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images via Pixabay.


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Bitcoin Accepted [Everyw]here: Square Wins Patent for Cryptocurrency Payment Network

Digital payments firm Square has won a patent for a payment network that allows merchants to accept payments in any currency, including bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Square Wins Patent for Crypto Payment Network Public documents published on Aug. 21 show that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved Square’s application to patent a … Continued

The post Bitcoin Accepted [Everyw]here: Square Wins Patent for Cryptocurrency Payment Network appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash is Now More Popular Than Venmo

Data from app research firm Sensor Tower and Nomura Instinet have revealed that cumulative downloads of Square’s Cash App have surpassed that of its rival, Paypal’s Venmo, per a Bloomberg report. Square’s Cash App now has a cumulative total download of 33.5 million, which exceeds Venmo’s 32.9 million for the first time, after a successful … Continued

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Square Cash Opens Bitcoin Buying and Selling in All 50 States

Less than two weeks after sharing Square’s cryptocurrency profits had doubled in the second quarter, the payments company made the long-awaited announcement on Twitter: users can now use Cash App to buy bitcoin in all fifty states. Red, white, and bitcoin. Now you can use Cash App to buy bitcoin in all 50 states. pic.twitter.com/D4fhVRz7WL … Continued

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Exchanges Round-Up: Coinjar Launches Aussie Crypto Fund, Square Trades OTC

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinjar Launches Aussie Crypto Fund, Square Trades OTC

In recent news pertaining to virtual currency exchanges, Coinjar has launched Australia’s first cryptocurrency index fund; Square’s latest quarterly report has revealed that company is executing its crypto trades via the over-the-counter (OTC) markets rather than “public cryptocurrency exchanges;” and Poloniex has launched EOS pairings.

Also Read: SEC Has No Jurisdiction to Look at Bitcoin for ETF Decision, Admits Commissioner

Coinjar Launches Australia’s First Crypto Index Fund

Coinjar, a financial and cryptocurrency services company based in Australia and the United Kingdom that claims to have processed over $1.2 billion in virtual currency transactions, has announced the launch of Australia’s first cryptocurrency index fund.

The “Coinjar Digital Currency Fund” is an index fund targeting wholesale investors. Eligible investors must have net assets of at least $2.5 million AUD or have a gross income of no less than $250,000 AUD for the previous two years. Minimum contributions from new investors have been set at $50,000 AUD, whilst current investors are able to make incremental payments of at least $10,000 AUD.

The fund has two “classes”; ‘Bitcoin Class’ – “which provides exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) only”; and ‘Mixed Class’ – which “aims to track the performance of four digital currencies, weighted by fixed supply – Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC).” The fund does not incur “establishment costs, contribution fees, or performance fees,” however, “Management fees are 1.3% per annum for Bitcoin Class and 1.8% per annum for Mixed Class plus normal operating costs.”

Jordan Michaelides, institutional head at Coinjar, stated: “We are launching the Coinjar Digital Currency Fund to handle the custody risks, simplify the investment process and provide industry best practice in security for wholesale investors.”

Quarterly Report Shows Square is Trading Crypto Via OTC Markets Rather Than Exchanges

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinjar Launches Aussie Crypto Fund, Square Trades OTCFinancial and merchant services company, Square, Inc., has revealed in its most recent quarterly report that the company is trading bitcoin via “private broker-dealers” rather than “public cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Analysts have speculated that the move will facilitate Square providing a cryptocurrency platform with reduced price volatility when trading larger volume. Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at Coinshares, stated, “Working with a broker likely gets Square better pricing and better execution services than floating orders on the open market, as well as more confidentiality.”

Hunter Horsley, the chief executive officer of Bitwise Asset Management, has also praised Square’s decision to trade via the OTC markets. “There are many merits to trading OTC, which might be motivating Square’s switch,” Hunter said, emphasizing the reduced risk of slippage when trading OTC. “Prices, net of fees, are often better, especially for large orders,” he added.

Poloniex Launches EOS Pairings

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinjar Launches Aussie Crypto Fund, Square Trades OTCPoloniex has announced the introduction of pairings for the fourth most traded and fifth largest cryptocurrency market by capitalization, EOS. Pairings are now live for EOS/USDT, EOS/BTC, and EOS/ETH.

At present, Poloniex has expressed that it plans to only support EOS mainnet tokens, and “will not be accepting deposits of the ERC-20 variant or providing conversion to mainnet tokens.” Additionally, Poloniex “will not be supporting EOS airdrops for the time being.”

What is your response to Square’s move to trade crypto via the OTC markets rather than major exchanges? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Square Inc., Poloniex


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Square Seeing ‘Real Growth’ in Bitcoin User Base: CFO

Square Inc. Chief Financial Officer Sarah Friar has hailed the impact of bitcoin support on the company as it continues to record strong growth driven primarily by its flagship Cash App, also known as Square Cash. “Rarefied Air” In a discussion with Emily Chang on Bloomberg TV, Friar remarked that the company is “super impressed”

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Bit by Bitcoin: Square’s Cryptocurrency Profits Doubled in Q2

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may have continued to endure a bear market during the second quarter of 2018, but that did not stop digital payments firm Square from recording a 100 percent increase in BTC profit over Q1. Square, which added bitcoin trading to its peer-to-peer payments app toward the end of last year, reported

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Why Tech Darlings Robinhood and Square Don’t Care About Cryptocurrency Profits

Robinhood, a major stock trading app based in the US, whose valuation surged from $1.5 billion to $6 billion after integrating cryptocurrency, said that the company does not expect to generate large profits in the near future, and the company is fine with it. Vlad Tenev, the co-CEO of Robinhood, said that more than 200,000

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Bitcoin-Friendly Square Hits All-Time High Market Cap after Earning Bitlicense

The market valuation of Square, the multi-billion dollar payments company of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, surged three percent overnight after the company obtained the BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to operate as a cryptocurrency platform. BitLicense is Difficult to Obtain New York is considered to have the strictest policies and … Continued

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Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

The company Square announced on Monday the firm has been granted the Bitlicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). The firm and its ‘Cash App’ are now legally allowed to operate and utilize cryptocurrency solutions in the state of New York.

Also Read: Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense

Square Has Obtained the New York Bitlicense

 Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense
The Square Cash App was offered to most U.S. states this past February and now the company can operate in the state of New York. Users can purchase and sell Bitcoin Core (BTC) from within the app.

Square, Inc. is a payment processor and financial services provider that was launched in 2010. The San Francisco based company was founded by Jack Dorsey (also the CEO of Twitter) and Jim McKelvey back in 2010 and the firm has been staunch bitcoin supporters for quite some time. Back in November 2017, the company announced it was implementing in-app BTC buy/sell Options for certain select customers. A few months later in February of 2018 Square rolled out the BTC service for all users. Since then the revenue derived from the cryptocurrency in-app services has added around $8Bn USD to Square’s overall valuation according to data collected last May. Now this week, Square has been granted the official Bitlicense money-transmitter approval from the DFS.

“DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market,” explained the Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo during the announcement on Monday.

DFS continues to work in support of a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.

Square Joins Eight Licensed Cryptocurrency Operations in New York

According to the DFS, the regulators have conducted a review over Square’s business model which includes anti-money laundering guidelines, Know-Your-Customer (KYC), and cybersecurity policies. Moreover, the DFS states the newly licensed Square will be under supervision. The New York regulatory agency has granted the Bitlicense to Circle, Gemini, Coinbase, XRP II, Paxos (formally Itbit), Bitflyer, Xapo, and more recently Genesis Global Trading Inc.

“We are thrilled to now provide New Yorkers with Cash App’s quick and simple way to buy and sell bitcoin,” said Brian Grassadonia, Head of Square’s Cash App service.

Square and the New York State DFS share a vision of empowering people with greater access to the financial system and today’s news is an important step in realizing that goal.

Now New York residents will be able to utilize the Cash App in the state as the region was one of the few states where the cryptocurrency option wasn’t incorporated until today.

What do you think of Square receiving the New York state Bitlicense? Let us know in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Square, and Pixabay.


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Ripple CEO: Bitcoin Controlled by Chinese, Absurd to Think it Could be Primary World Currency

Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple CEO, answered candidly during an interview about crypto’s prospects for the future. Among other criticisms, he stressed blockchain technology is mostly hype, and that bitcoin core (BTC) is controlled by Chinese miners and has no hope of being a world currency.

Also read: Crypto and Virtual Reality Meet in Ken Liu’s Science Fiction

Ripple CEO Bashes Bitcoin

Attendees of the 2018 Stifel Cross Sector Insight Conference in Boston yesterday were probably expecting to learn more about Ripple, the world’s third most popular cryptocurrency by market capitalization. After all, none other than company CEO Brad Garlinghouse was guest of honor for an interview with Stifel Tech analyst Lee Simpson. And while Ripple certainly was the hot topic, Mr. Garlinghouse also took the opportunity to bash its main decentralized competitor, bitcoin core (BTC).

“A number of prominent people,” Mr. Garlinghouse explained, “even Steve Wozniak, has said that he sees a world where Bitcoin is the primary currency. I think that’s absurd. I don’t think that any major economy will allow that to happen. By the way, it doesn’t make sense.” Indeed Woz has said as much, as have Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who predicted it would happen within the decade.

Ripple CEO: Bitcoin Controlled by Chinese, Absurd to Think it Could be Primary World Currency

Brad Garlinghouse, 47, has held his present position since 2015. His professional background is almost all technology related. Stints with Yahoo!, AOL, working in the investment arena with the likes of Silver Lake Partners, @Ventures, @Home Network, SBC Communications, all round out his experience prior to Ripple.

His views about BTC and its eventual influence have found him very quotable of late, especially this month. He’s spent a great deal of time attempting to separate the coin aspect of Ripple (XRP) from the company itself, and this has lead to some interesting juxtapositioning in his method of argument.

BTC Blockchain Not Disruptive, Chinese in Control

During the Boston interview, he even took on the sacred cow of the corporate world, BTC’s distributed ledger technology. “There’s a lot of blockchain craziness, but there are three indicators of market winners. Blockchain will not disrupt banks […] it will play an important role in the way our system works. It’s a short-sighted view […]. Bitcoin is not the panacea we thought it would be.”

Mr. Garlinghouse then compared XRP to BTC. “This is how liquidity will be managed in the future. Bitcoin today takes 45 minutes to settle a transaction. Banks will use what is efficient and cheaper. And if you deliver a better product at a better price […] they will use it.” Ripple CEO: Bitcoin Controlled by Chinese, Absurd to Think it Could be Primary World Currency

An under-reported story, Ripple’s CEO insisted, is how BTC is “owned by China.” He noted, “The smartest thing you’ve done is not have ‘bit’ or ‘coin’ in your name. I’ll tell you another story that is underreported, but worth paying attention to. Bitcoin is really controlled by China. There are four miners in China that control over 50% of Bitcoin. How do we know that China won’t intervene? How many countries want to use a Chinese-controlled currency? It’s just not going to happen.”

Lastly, he assured, “I own bitcoin. Many people consider it as digital gold. I acknowledge, I’m long [on] crypto. I’d advise folks to only invest in crypto only what you’re willing to lose. It’s early to tell how it is going to play out. I think it’s a pretty good investing strategy. I don’t think about the digital asset market. I think about the customer experience. There are millions unbanked or underbanked. When I think about the transformation, it is fundamentally changing the way millions participate in banking. We can fundamentally change the way this works, to bring an entire population up a step in the system.”

Do you think Ripple’s CEO is correct? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay.


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