The trial, which seems to only be available right now to a small number of users, lets you buy and sell bitcoin directly in the app.
The interface is very basic. Users who have access to the beta can swipe right from the Cash Card page to access bitcoin functionality. Once there users will see a balance in USD and BTC, a graph showing performance over the last day, month or year and buy / sell buttons.
There is a button to generate a wallet address – but the balance in one wallet address we checked didn’t match the user’s bitcoin holdings, meaning Square is likely using pooled wallets to hold user funds and not storing private keys on a user’s device, similar to how Coinbase works.
One source also said that a transaction sent to this address hasn’t yet shown up in his balance, so it’s definitely more of a beta than a fully functional release.
It seems that at least for now, the feature is centered around buying and selling bitcoin and not sending and receiving – which is unusual considering Square Cash is known for sending and receiving money. As noted above there’s a (potentially non-fuctioning) option to generate an address to receive bitcoin, but no option to send it.
It’s not yet clear what the fee structure will be or if there are daily buying or selling limits, or who Square is using as a liquidity provider for the transactions.
Jack Dorsey has spoken publicly about the benefits of cryptocurrency and the blockchain, but hadn’t acknowledged that Square was working on building the functionality into their Cash app.
We reached out to Square for comment and they provided us with the following statement:
“We’re always listening to our customers and we’ve found that they are interested in using the Cash app to buy bitcoin. 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.” – Square Spokesperson
Watch the video below to check out the feature in action: