JACK DORSEY: Square 'is not stopping at buying and selling' bitcoin

  • Payments app Square launched support for bitcoin in November.
  • Now, CEO Jack Dorsey has doubled down on the company’s stance, saying the company “is not stopping at buying and selling” bitcoin.

Square, the payments app helmed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, is doubling down on its cryptocurrency bet.

Bitcoin, for us, is not stopping at buying and selling,” Dorsey told analysts on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “We do believe that this is a transformational technology for our industry and we want to learn as quickly as possible.”

For now, bitcoin’s impact on Square’s bottom line “was really immaterial,” Dorsey said.

In the final quarter of 2017, the company earned an adjusted $US0.8 per share, beating the $US0.067 that Wall Street was expecting, according to Bloomberg. Revenue of $US282 million also topped the Street’s estimate.

“We also believe that it does provide an opportunity to get more people access to the financial system. And certainly, that’s in stores of asset, but also ultimately, over time, through currency,” he said.

An estimated 2 billion people worldwide don’t have access to a bank account, according to a 2017 World Bank report. That’s a massive number that many say cryptocurrency could help bring down by making it easier for customers to prove their identity to comply with so-called “know your customer” laws.

Yet bitcoin’s wild volatility – sometimes as much as 20% in either direction on any given day – isn’t making it easy for Square.

“Today, when we offer to the buyer to purchase or to sell their ownership in the Bitcoin, we include a cushion or a margin in the price effectively to allow us to account for the fairly dynamic market that we see for Bitcoin,” Dorsey said.

Bitcoin is up 58% since Square announced it would support the cryptocurrency in November 2017, but is down 43% from its all-time high above $US19,000 from December.

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