Square Gets Big Bitcoin Approval
Both Square and Bitcoin got some good news this week as the former’s Cash app was granted regulatory approval to trade the cryptocurrency in the state of New York. The announcement comes as the Empire State was a notable holdout in allowing Cash users to buy and sell Bitcoin dispute other users having ability since Square began rolling out the feature earlier this year. In fact Square has now become only the ninth firm approved to trade crypto in New York. News of the state’s green light not only sent Square’s stock price climbing but also helped boost the price of Bitcoin.
As CNBC reports, Square stock reached a new high on Monday, closing above $66 a share. Meanwhile Bitcoin’s price climbed from around $6,500 on Monday morning to a high of $6,800 during the day. Of course the long-term impact for Square could be even better, with analyst Dan Dolev telling CNBC, “This announcement gives people another excuse to download the app.” Incidentally that’s something Cash could use, considering new estimates that put it well behind leaders like Venmo and Zelle.
In a press release announcing the New York State Department of Financial Services’s (DFS) approval decision, Square’s head of the Cash app Brian Grassadonia said, “We are thrilled to now provide New Yorkers with Cash App’s quick and simple way to buy and sell Bitcoin. 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.” DFS Superintendent Maria T. Vullo also had positive things to say about the move, stating “DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market.” She continued, “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.”
While it’s easy to assume that this development is mostly a boon for Square and no one else, the modest lift that Bitcoin saw during the day would suggest it’s more than that. Sure one could argue that the spike was coincidence, there’s no denying that this was a rare regulatory win for cryptocurrency at a time when concern about the technology and its viability have been constantly raised. As a result, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiasts should celebrate Square’s victory and hope that there’s similarly good news ahead.