Why Square Wins If Crypto Is the Future
The optimistic argument for cryptocurrency is that it has become a dominant asset class. Whether people use it as a store of value, a transaction currency, or just to trade, Square will be the winner. The company’s current role as a marketplace for bitcoin trading and an honest wallet allows it to reap significant profits from transaction margins. In the first quarter alone, Bitcoin transactions brought in $3.51 billion in revenue and $75 million in total profits.
If Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency eventually becomes a digital currency used for real transactions, then Square can be configured as the preferred transaction platform. People can pay for goods with cryptocurrency from the Cash app, and customers using the Square selling platform can accept cryptocurrency, potentially with lower transaction costs than using credit cards today. And Square can have dozens of cryptocurrency options on its platform for buyers and sellers.
Crypto or not, I think Square’s biggest advantage is that it’s changing the existing infrastructure for financial transactions, replacing banks and credit card companies that fall between buyers and sellers in today’s marketplace. And if Square is using cryptocurrency for that, that could be good for crypto and square.
Square wins if cryptocurrency has no future
If cryptocurrency is a fad or has no use in our financial system, Square could still be the winner. Although Bitcoin is a square, it only generated $75 million in gross profit in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $964 million in gross profit for the company as a whole. The complete loss of Bitcoin would not be the end of the world.
At the same time, Bitcoin has helped millions of people use the Square Cash App platform, which is key to its two-way financial platform. Square announced in March that 7 million cash cards have been activated through the Cash app, helping drive record app cash flow and earnings.
On the consumer side, Square is trying to make the Cash App the center of our financial lives. It can be used for deposits, transfers, investments in stocks and bitcoins. Even if it left Bitcoin, Square would add tens of millions of users to its Cash app, which could eventually become bank or investment customers. And even if Bitcoin drops in value, it has become essential in bringing these customers to the platform.
The best way to play cryptocurrency today
Last week, we saw that cryptocurrency could plummet if no more than one or two tweets from influencer sponsors were needed. This would make any investor concerned about the future of cryptocurrency in general, or any particular cryptocurrency.
Regardless of whether you think the future of cryptocurrency will be bright or dark, I think this year we saw that Square could take advantage of this new asset class. Perhaps cryptocurrency will help the company change the financial system, or perhaps it will attract millions of people to the Cash app. Anyway, I think Square came out of this crypto boom as a winner, which is why today I’m just betting on crypto this way.
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