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Square Sees Profits From Bitcoin Sales Double in Q2

Mobile payment firm Square said it made $37 million in revenue from bitcoin sales in the second quarter of 2018.

The company released an unaudited quarterly financial report on Wednesday, which indicated it made an overall net revenue of $814 million, 6 percent of which came from the cryptocurrency buying service added to its Cash App late last year.

However, with the cost of facilitating bitcoin purchases mounting to over $36.5 million in the same period, Square again chalked up a small margin of $420,000.

That said, the firm’s bitcoin sales profits nearly doubled compared to the first quarter’s figure of around $223,000, as previously reported by CoinDesk. Meanwhile, Square disclosed that the carrying value of bitcoin held by itself was $0.4 million as of June 30.

During a conference call on Wednesday, Square’s chief financial officer Sarah Friar said the goal of the bitcoin buying service on the Cash App is not “trying to push on the monetization of bitcoin today.”

Square added the crypto service in November for a testing phase and then opened it up to consumers in January, allowing users in almost all U.S. states to buy and send bitcoins.

In June, Square received a so-called BitLicense from regulators in the state of New York, inching a step closer to offering the service to all states in the country.

Bitcoin and dollars image via Shutterstock b

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Coinbase Confirms 4 Banks Blocking Bitcoin Purchases on Credit Cards

Credit card holders from four U.S. banks have been barred from purchasing cryptocurrencies using credit cards at Coinbase, the exchange has confirmed.

According to the firm’s latest tweet, credit card users from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi and Capital One are all currently prohibited from purchasing cryptocurrencies at the platform.

However, other payment channels such as debit cards and bank transfer are still available, and are being encouraged by Coinbase as alternatives for affected customers.

The notice came as a confirmation to a recent report that Chase, Bank of America and Citi had launched the ban starting in early February over fears that credit card users may run up debt if the prices of cryptocurrencies drop. It further indicates that the restriction also extends to Capital One, another major credit card issuer in the U.S.

This news also arrives amid a major price correction across the crypto markets in the last few weeks. According to CoinDesk’s latest report, bitcoin’s price has dropped to a 12-week low around $6,000. On the same date in January, prices were closer to $17,000.

Data from CoinMarketCap also indicates that the total cryptocurrency market capitalization slumped today to under $300 billion for the first time since Nov. 25, 2017.

The trend to bar bitcoin buying with credit cards is not just being seen in the U.S. market.

As reported yesterday, British banking group Lloyds has also reportedly blocked card holders from several of its major subsidiaries – including Halifax, MBNA and Bank of Scotland – from purchasing bitcoin on credit.

Credit cards image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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Lloyds Banking Group Blocks Bitcoin Purchases Using Credit Cards

A major U.K.-based banking institution is reportedly barring its customers from using credit cards to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

According to report from the BBC, the ban applies to the Lloyds Banking Group’s eight million credit card holders and takes effect on Feb. 5 among its subsidiaries including Lloyds Bank, Halifax, MBNA and Bank of Scotland.

As reported by CoinDesk previously, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have both also barred the purchase of bitcoin for customers using credit cards this month.

Lloyd’s decision is apparently over concerns that users may buy cryptocurrencies with credit amid market euphoria, and and fail to pay the debit balance should the market drop.

However, according to the report, the ban will not affect investors who make crypto purchases using debit cards.

A Lloyds spokeswoman responded to BBC that the policy change is a result from its current review of its banking products. It also comes at a time when the bitcoin market has seen a significant decline recently, which leads to the banking group’s concern of amounting unpaid debt.

As reported by CoinDesk, after reaching its all-time-high of nearly $20,000 in mid-December 2017, bitcoin is now seeing a two-month low just below $8,000 today, based on data from CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index.

Lloyds bank image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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'Is It Real?': Square CFO Speaks Out on Cash App Bitcoin Trial

Sarah Friar, CFO of mobile payments firm Square, has filled in some of the detail on why the company has launched a bitcoin pilot scheme.

Revealed yesterday, Square’s mobile payments product, Cash App, is now allowing a limited number of users to buy or sell bitcoin within their accounts.

Talking to CNBC, Friar explained:

“You’re talking about it, it’s out there, and so we want to do an experiment and say, OK, is this real? Do customers actually want to be able to do this?”

Friar noted that customers often feed back desired features in Square’s products, and that some using Cash App to make payments have requested an “easy way to buy and sell bitcoin.”

Arguing that the fastest way to get moving with new trends is to build innovations around them, Friar said, ultimately, risks have to be taken – citing the example of early days of internet as an example.

While future developments with bitcoin are uncertain, she added, “As an innovator, Square has to be there to let a customer do what they want to do.”

Square logo image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.