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Crypto Apps Stagnate Despite Bitcoin (BTC) Rally Past $10,000

Crypto Not on the Rise on Google or Apple’s App Store

As Bitcoin (BTC) and other crypto assets started to rally in April and May, users started to suggest that search interest for “Coinbase” and “Blockchain” on the Apple iOS App Store was on the rise. Indeed, many reports corroborated the fact that if you were to look for apps that were “trending” last month, cryptocurrency wallets would have graced your screen.

The thing is, data published via Bloomberg suggests a very different story than the aforementioned points. Per a recent article from the outlet, which cites data from App Annie (an analytics provider that looks at apps downloaded from the iOS Store and Google Play Store), the download count for crypto-related applications is nearly the same for H1 2019 and H1 2018, at 67 million and 65.8 million respectively. This comes despite that Bitcoin has rallied over 200% since the bottom, which is stellar compared to BTC’s dismal performance in the first six months of 2018.

Similarly, Google Trends states that search interest for the “Bitcoin” and “crypto” terms remains less than 20% of what was seen at 2017’s peak, meaning that the mainstream has yet to pick up on this space in spite of BTC’s recent growth.

crypto

These data points could imply that investors that left the space are entering once again, or that institutions, most of which presumably don’t use mobile applications to store and track crypto, are finally starting to foray into the industry. Whatever the exact specifics, the App Annie and Google Trends data points aren’t bearish per se.

China, A Different Story

Interestingly, it’s an entirely different story in China. Instead of institutions driving crypto interest, it seems to be a primarily retail audience. Chinese source cnLedger recently pointed out that according to a number of “online data service providers”, a crypto asset-related app is trending on China’s iOS App Store.

Exchange giant Huobi’s mobile application is now, according to the sources, the seventh most searched for keyword in the aforementioned marketplace. Considering that Apple sells some 40 million handhelds each year, this is quite the statistic. This implies that tens of thousands, maybe more, were (and are continuing to) searching for the crypto app.

Simultaneously, WeChat keyword analytics have accentuated a massive uptick in the volume of “Bitcoin”. More specifically, as Twitter user Louis Aboud-Hogben notes, the past ninety days have seen keyword volume for the Chinese term for “Bitcoin” skyrocket by five times.

It is unclear why this has been occurring, but there are a few theories: Firstly, comments from Chinese technology legends about Libra have presumably increased interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Secondly, as the US-China trade war has raged on, investors have begun to seek a safe haven in Bitcoin, especially after safe haven media lauded it. And thirdly, the simple bullish price action led to increased interest.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

The post Crypto Apps Stagnate Despite Bitcoin (BTC) Rally Past $10,000 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Square’s Cash App Sold $52M Worth Of Bitcoin In Q4 2018, $166M Over 2018

Cash App Sold More BTC Quarter-Over-Quarter

At the peak of 2017’s bubble, Square, a fintech company based in America, introduced a native Bitcoin (BTC) market into its flagship product, the Cash App. While the integration received some flak, especially for Square’s inability to be quick on the draw, the cryptocurrency product has grown alongside the startup’s swelling user base.

Per the company’s recent Shareholder Letter, which pertains to fiscal Q4 of 2018, the company sold $52 million worth of Bitcoin (13684 BTC at the current price point). This means that over the course of 2018, which saw BTC collapse from a yearly high of $17,000 to a yearly low of $3,150, the San Francisco-based fintech giant sold $166 million worth of the flagship cryptocurrency — no small sum.

Although $166 million in fiat-to-crypto volume seems lackluster, skeptics would be remiss to disregard fiat amplifiers. Due to the shallow order books (low liquidity) that are a byproduct of nascent markets, U.S. dollars that enter this market have often had an amplified effect on the value of digital assets.

Per analysis compiled by Alex Kruger, a leading markets researcher, JP Morgan claims that for the crypto assets at large, a fiat amplifier of 117.5 is present, as a purported $2 billion in net inflow pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization from $15 billion to $250 billion But, this isn’t the whole story. Citigroup purportedly estimated an amplifier of 50, while Chris Burniske of Placeholder Ventures calculated the figure out to somewhere between two and 25.

Thus, considering a low-end estimated amplifier of 10 times, the $166 million that Square’s clients allocated towards BTC may have pushed Bitcoin’s market capitalization by approximately $1.5 billion. Not bad, eh?

Square’s revenue figures also hold importance because, throughout 2018, the firm’s Bitcoin sales increased quarter-over-quarter, underscoring the continual Bitcoin demand from American retail investors.

Although this is great in and of itself, what’s next for Square and its involvement in this nascent market?

What’s Next For Square & Bitcoin?

Well, the answer is quite simple. As reported by this outlet on a previous date, Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of both Square and Twitter, took to Bitcoin bull Stephan Livera’s podcast to confirm these rumors. During the podcast, which also saw Lightning Labs chief executive Elizabeth Stark make an appearance, the Twitter CEO explained that Square’s integration of the scaling protocol is a matter of “when,” not “if.” Speaking on the rationale of eventually making such a move, Dorsey explained that his firm’s raison d’etre is to serve customers best, with Lightning only accentuating this goal.

He added that Square sees Bitcoin’s underlying nature as a currency, rather than solely a speculative asset. And as it stands, the widespread adoption of the Lightning Network is the most promising means to get to that end.

While Dorsey’s comments regarding his fintech upstart’s plans to integrate the Lightning scaling solution were open-ended, the magnitude of the future move was quickly comprehended.

In an interview with Tim Copeland of Decrypt Media, Jeremy Welch, the chief executive of Bitcoin hardware and software provider Casa, noted that Square’s (and Twitter by extension) support for Lightning would simply be “huge.” Welch explained that as Square is a “very well respected company,” with “great tech, great teams,” it’s doubling down on Bitcoin would be significant for both adoption and reputation. The entrepreneur explained:

“Silicon Valley hasn’t had the best view on Bitcoin overall. So, it would be significant on multiple levels, both in terms of adoption and their reputation and they have cachet with a lot of the bigger financial institutions.”

Title Image Courtesy of Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

The post Square’s Cash App Sold $52M Worth Of Bitcoin In Q4 2018, $166M Over 2018 appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Square Cash Eclipses Venmo In Popularity, But Is It Thanks To Bitcoin?

Many have likened the fintech industry to the nascent cryptosphere, as both of these growing spaces are set on overthrowing legacy systems with more efficient, innovative, and unique solutions. While these two industries are far from identical from a top-down perspective, Square, a fintech startup, has recently begun to blur the lines between crypto and fintech.

Image Courtesy of Square

Late in 2017, the fintech firm announced that its so-called “Cash” app would be testing support for the trading of Bitcoin. As the price of the asset reached its peak, Cash launched support for the purchase and sale of Bitcoin.

This move didn’t come as a surprise to many, as Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square alike, has shown fleeting interests and admiration for cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies. In the announcement regarding the addition of this feature, Dorsey wrote:

We support Bitcoin because we see it as a long-term path towards greater financial access for all. This is a small step.

This move has seemingly helped the app, albeit not single handly, overtake the download figures posted by its primary competitor, Venmo (Paypal), who has tackled mobile payment processing alongside Cash (Square). According to data from Sensor Tower and Nomura Instinet, relayed by CNBC, Cash has been downloaded 33.5 million times, while Venmo has been downloaded 32.9 million times. This move is a result of Square Cash’s staggering growth rate at nearly three times faster than Venmo.

Dan Dolev, a Nomura Instinet analyst, recently expressed his faith in the service in a recent report, noting that the app could garner $100 million in sales by 2020, “even without deeper active user penetration.”

Square Cash And Bitcoin — A Dynamic Duo?

Prior to a recent announcement, Cash’s aforementioned Bitcoin-related feature was only available in a certain set of U.S. states.

But now, individuals all across the US, in all 50 states, can now use the Cash App to buy Bitcoin as they may please.

This feature, along with Cash’s growing dominance in the mobile industry, helped propel the app in popularity, with users stating that they saw the payment solution make an appearance in the top 10 products listed on the Apple App Store. This was backed up by Nomura’s aforementioned report, who noted that Cash was the #1 app in US’ finance category throughout Q2 of 2018.

Although Bitcoin was a welcome addition, it seems that Cash’s rise in popularity cannot be solely attributed to cryptocurrency support, as Dolev alluded to in the following comment:

Interestingly, this relationship (between Cash and Bitcoin’s popularity/price) seems to go both ways. While Bitcoin prices increased in July and Coinbase downloads accelerated 11 percent, Cash App downloads remained stable at 154 percent, showing little variance from prior months’ growth rates.

Nonetheless, Dolev, who is also an executive director at Nomura Instinet, sees the addition of crypto trading as more of a welcome add-on to the service, rather than Cash’s end game.

Photo by Jordan Andrews on Unsplash

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Square Expands Cash App Bitcoin Service to All 50 US States

Mobile payments firm Square now lets customers buy and sell bitcoins via its Cash App in all 50 U.S. states.

The company – which was co-founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey – announced the service expansion through a Tweet on Monday, months after the firm initially rolled out the bitcoin service to investors in the country.

As reported by CoinDesk, Square officially launched the bitcoin purchasing option on its Cash App in January following a testing phase started last year. However, the service was not offered in the states of New York, Georgia, Hawaii and Wyoming due to their more restrictive regulations regarding bitcoin transactions.

In fact, Coinbase suspended its bitcoin buying service in Hawaii last year after regulators in the state imposed a double reserve requirement on the exchange, meaning it would have been required to maintain cash reserves equal to any cryptocurrency funds held for its customers.

In March, though, Square expanded the option to residents in Wyoming after the Cowboy State passed a bill to remove the double reserve requirement for companies dealing with virtual currencies.

As recently reported, Square has also secured a so-called “BitLicense” in New York, making it one of only a handful of crypto services to be allowed to operate in the state.

CoinDesk reached out to Square to ask about any factors that contributed to its changes of policy in Georgia and Hawaii, but did not receive a reply by press time.

The firm previously revealed in its earning reports that its bitcoin service made a small margin of around $420,000 in the second quarter this year – a number that was still double the figure for the initial three months after the service launched.

U.S. map image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.