Payments startup Square wants to bring on crypto-focused engineers and designers, and may pay them in bitcoin.
Dorsey Looks To Secure Bitcoin (BTC) Stash
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is back to shilling the cryptocurrency space yet again. Most recently, Dorsey took to his personal feed to reveal that he bought a hardware storage device from Trezor, a leading cryptocurrency wallet provider, through the Cash App, a Bitcoin-friendly project that he headed.
In a tweet, he revealed he spent 0.06639… BTC on the device, with reports claiming that this implies he bought a Trezor Model S (no, not a Tesla).
It is presumed he bought the device to store the Bitcoin that he has recently begun to accumulate, in seeming preparation for the next bout of mass adoption.
Interestingly, Dorsey hinted at the reasoning why he chose a Trezor instead of a Ledger device. In response to a point about the fact that the France-based Ledger’s software is proprietary and not fully open-source, the Twitter CEO replied with “This.” Funnily enough, the team at not Dorsey-endorsed wallet creator, whose CEO called for an extended crypto winter, issued a response.
They wrote that offering open-source software isn’t the silver bullet, but made it clear that they are appreciative of signal boosting that Dorsey has done for Bitcoin in recent weeks.
An Ongoing Story
Dorsey’s most recent public tweet in regards to the cryptocurrency space, or Bitcoin more specifically, comes just weeks after he doubled-down on his support for this space amid this brutal market winter. Here’s a bit of background.
In recent weeks, Dorsey has risen from a nobody in the Bitcoin community to part of its upper echelons. It started when he appeared on the “Joe Rogan Experience” to talk about a number of subjects, eventually leading to Bitcoin. Host Rogan, who has expressed interest towards Bitcoin previously (he had Andreas Antonopoulos on a number of times), brought up Square’s crypto integration and Dorsey’s comments on how BTC is vying to be a ubiquitous currency. Explaining that rationale behind this statement, the Twitter CEO proudly stated:
“The Internet will have a single native currency, which will likely be Bitcoin. It is something that was born on the internet, that was developed on the internet, that was tested on the internet. It is of the internet.”
Following that podcast, he began to tout Bitcoin and facets of this nascent ecosystem on Twitter. He lauded the Lightning Network, before bashing altcoins, like Tron and Ethereum, and touting the merits of projects built using the aforementioned scaling solution. Dorsey even appeared on a number of Bitcoin-centric podcasts, revealing that he has accumulated $10,000 worth of BTC over the past week. He alluded to the fact that he does this every week, claiming that he has maxed out the Cash App’s BTC purchasing option.
Dorsey’s involvement with this industry is evidently an ongoing story. But where will the Silicon Valley entrepreneur show his face in the industry next? Many sure do hope it will be Square’s acceptance of the Lightning Network.
Title Image Courtesy of Descryptive.com Via Unsplash
The post Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Snaps Up Trezor To Store Bitcoin (BTC) appeared first on Ethereum World News.
Square Could Spark Widespread Bitcoin Adoption
Earlier this week, Ethereum World News reported that Square, a fintech startup based out of San Francisco, had sold millions worth of Bitcoin (BTC) over fiscal 2018. In fact, since launching its cryptocurrency offering in early-2018, basically at the peak of the recent cycle, the Cash App, Square’s flagship application, made $166 million revenue from the sale of BTC. In Q4 alone, the company sold $52 million in the digital asset, even as Bitcoin fell through the floor in a seeming act of investor capitulation. Square’s BTC business is also clearly trending upwards, with the Jack Dorsey-led firm seeing this facet of its operations post bigger profits quarter-over-quarter
Per a breakdown of Square’s earnings from The Block, Cash App likely sold approximately 10,000 BTC during yesteryear, which is no small sum. This has led some analysts to keep their heads high, as it clear that there are infrastructure plays to accentuate this ecosystem is far from dead in the water.
Alec “Rhythm Trader” Ziupsnys broke down his thoughts on Square’s involvement with Bitcoin in a comment posted to Twitter. Sticking to his argument that the flagship cryptocurrency’s supply cap is primarily what gives it value, Ziupsnys wrote that Square sold 6.2% of the value of the 162,000 BTC mined last year. For one company, especially one that doesn’t center its efforts on the cryptocurrency space, this is evidently impressive.
Matt Odell, a prominent coder in this space, echoed Ziupsnys’ comment, replying with a link to one of his tweets on the subject matter. In the Twitter message, posted months ago by Odell, it was explained that during the next bull rally, it is more likely than not that the Cash App, one of the most popular mobile applications on the U.S. App Store, will become a key facet of the industry, as it will be an easy-to-use on-ramp that could spark widespread retail adoption. But interestingly, support for Bitcoin purchases and sales might just be the tip of the iceberg. Rumor has it that Square, with Bitcoin diehard Jack Dorsey at the helm, could become a platform for crypto-friendly merchants too.
Lightning Network May Come To Square
Per previous reports from Ethereum World News, Dorsey took to Bitcoin bull Stephan Livera’s podcast to confirm hearsay that his fintech firm was to introduce support for the Lightning Network, a scaling solution that promotes low-cost, near-instant, secure, and more private BTC transactions for everyone and anyone.
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.
And with all this in mind, Ziupsnys noted that there’s a likelihood that Square’s Bitcoin efforts could be just as important for the BTC price and adoption than an ETF and Bakkt combined.
Photo by Dmitry Moraine on Unsplash
The post Researcher: Dorsey’s Square Could Help Bitcoin (BTC) More Than an ETF & Bakkt appeared first on Ethereum World News.
There is a new wave and Sergio Abril app, Tippin.me, is drawing huge benefits as the crypto tide rise. The web browser extension that is currently in beta and supported by Chrome and FireFox allows users to receive Lightning Network powered micro-payments—denominated in Satoshis—a billionth of a Bitcoin. At the same time, users can use Tippin.me to reward or “tip” quality Twitter posts. Demand for the application took a turn for the best days after Jack Dorsey the founder of Cash and Twitter endorsed the application.
13,000 New Downloads After Jack Endorsement
Upon installation, each tweet bears the lightning bolt symbol, an explicit show of support for the lighting network and more importantly, Bitcoin. All the same, users are ecstatic and whether this extension will be incorporated directly by Twitter remains unknown. However, what is clear is that Sergio has admitted that the application is gaining traction with 13,000 downloads in the last few weeks. What’s encouraging is that the developer is hard at work, fixing bugs and most importantly, setting up a practical business plan, a guide that once implemented will see Tippin.me become compliant with local laws.
Jack Dorsey participation is crucial and as an ardent supporter of Lightning Network—he is one of the first investors of Lightning Labs, where together with other luminaries sunk in $2.5 million towards the development of this scalable, high throughput, feeless and instantaneous settling solution. Besides Twitter, Jack is the brains behind Cash App which is developed solely by Square—a publicly traded company at the NASDAQ. As a tech visionary, a lot of expectations rests on his shoulders but still he has never been shy to endorse Bitcoin saying on more than one occasion that the currency is the future of the internet. In a conference, Jack said:
“The internet is going to have a native currency so let’s not wait for it to happen, let’s help it happen. I don’t know if it will be bitcoin but I hope it will be.”
Tippin.me Support is Across the Board
He’s not alone. Dan Rusnac, a blockchain consultant says, Tippin.me though in a proof of concept stage is “refreshingly simple” to use and there is no need of creating new social media networks with tailored economic models as the plugin can be installed and users receive rewards in a liquid and on-demand asset as Bitcoin. In a Medium Post he said:
“Not only the Twitter experience completely changes but it also open limitless future scenarios: an internet where, thanks to this extension/s, you can tip people on all socials (it can be for a tweet, for an article, for a video, for a comment, etc.), thus creating a new way to raise money by content creators without the need of a central agency and without the need of creating a new social platform and economic system from scratch!”
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.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told a Congressional committee Wednesday that the social media company is exploring blockchain solutions for its platform.
Dorsey was responding to a question from California Representative Doris Matsui during a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing that focused on alleged bias against political conservatives on Twitter.
“You previously expressed interest in the broad applications of blockchain technology, including potentially in an effort to verify identity to fight misinformation and scams,” Matsui remarked before asking: “What potential applications do you see for blockchain?”
Dorsey replied that “we need to start with problems we’re trying to solve for our customers and look at all available technology,” going on to say:
“Blockchain is one that I think has a lot of untapped potential, specifically around distributed trust and distributed enforcement. We haven’t gone as deep as I would like just yet in understanding how we might apply this technology to Twitter but we have people thinking about it today.”
That the company is looking at possible solutions for shoring up digital trust using blockchain is perhaps unsurprising, given recent events.
As reported by CoinDesk and many other outlets, Twitter has been ground-zero for identity scams that seek to defraud users out of their cryptocurrency holdings. Through the use of copycat accounts and what researchers say is a massive botnet, would-be fraudsters have sought to trick users into sending their coins to fictitious accounts.
During the hearing, Matsui remarked about a previously-reported plan that calls for the Department of Commerce to create a blockchain workign group.
“As I previously announced in this committee, I am soon introducing legislation to direct the Department of Commerce to convene a working group of stakeholders to develop a consensus-based definition of blockchain,” she said prior to asking Dorsey about the social media firm’s work with the technology.
Image via House of Representatives video
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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.
Red, white, and bitcoin. Now you can use Cash App to buy bitcoin in all 50 states. pic.twitter.com/D4fhVRz7WL
— Cash App (@CashApp) August 13, 2018
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
Crypto Pet Peeves — Twitter Scam Bots
Ethereum giveaway scam bots are the pet peeve of any cryptocurrency Twitter user, with these malicious accounts littering the comment sections of tweets. Nearly everyone in this nascent community has seen them, but for those who don’t know what these bots are, here’s a bit of an explanation.
These so-called “giveaway scam bots” are fraudulent Twitter accounts that pose as celebrities, entrepreneurs or even cryptocurrency personalities to garner attention or cryptocurrencies. The most notable cases of these scams include Twitter ‘giving away ETH’ scams, with scammers requesting for users to send a certain amount of Ether to an address, in exchange for a substantially larger payout. Obviously, nothing ever comes of these requests, as the unfortunate few who send their funds to the addresses never receive anything in return.
As reported by Ethereum World News, cybersecurity researchers recently uncovered that there were upwards of 15,000 individual accounts dedicated to garnering scammed cryptocurrency. While this figure may not tell the whole story, with bots getting banned left and right, Duo Security’s search spanned 88 million Twitter accounts, so the firm’s claims hold some credence at the very least.
These pesky scam bots have become so widespread that Vitalik Buterin, a well-known co-founder of Ethereum, had to go as far as changing his username to set his account apart from scam accounts. Along with changing his name, the Ethereum co-founder even called out Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to fix the issue.
Moreover, not only has this issue affected well-known individuals in the crypto community, but it has also affected mainstream celebrities, with accounts being made in the likeness of Elon Musk’s Twitter page being seen on a near-daily basis. In fact, these accounts have become so common that Elon Musk himself acknowledged them, poking fun at the “scambots” concept in the following tweet.
I want to know who is running the Etherium scambots! Mad skillz …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2018
While the extent of these scams is easily apparent, little is known about the operation itself, or the people behind it. But as Boing Boing reports, Adam Guerbuez, a cryptocurrency evangelist, recently received some insight on this whole scam bot debacle.
Up Close And Personal With A Scam Bot Operator
Guerbuez, the aforementioned cryptocurrency evangelist and personality, first encountered this form of cryptocurrency scam on his Twitter, with an account promising his followers “free” Ethereum. While Guerbuez obviously knew that this tweet was made in malintent, out of curiosity, he asked the scammer if they could discuss the whole operation.
Oddly enough, the scammer agreed, likely due to the fact that the operator was a big fan of Guerbuez’s social media outlets. According to the unnamed individual, these scams can rake in upwards of $50,000 a day, with a good day potentially pulling in a staggering $100,000 in Ethereum. While the claims were not backed up by any evidence, taking into account the prevalence of these scams, it is more than likely that these figures are well warranted.
The scammer went on to explain the inner workings of his/her/their operations, adding that the bots are run by small teams that enlist the help of many automated practices. The scammer wrote:
“Well, the process from generating accounts, to tweeting to rotating ETH wallet address is all done automatic by our bots. The only manual process is cashing out.”
Closing off the interview, the scammer, referred to as “ETHGiveaway” by Boing Boing, explained that Twitter verified accounts (the accounts with a blue checkmark beside their name) while costing upwards of $1,000, are of no use to scammers anymore, as “mooches (scammed individuals) will send ETH to any account we make.”
Although Twitter may be doing its best to crack down on these scams, it is still evident that these fraudulent accounts are as common as ever in this nascent cryptosphere.
Square Obtains BitLicense for Bitcoin Trading in New York
Square has achieved yet another milestone. The payment company recently became the seventh firm to obtain a cryptocurrency trading license in the state of New York. The news was announced via a press release from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) on June 18, 2018.
Square Cash App Gets BitLicense
Commonly known as a BitLicense, it grants a firm the approval to offer cryptocurrency trading services in New York. Commenting on the development, the head of Square Cash App, Brian Grassadonia said:
We are thrilled to now provide New Yorkers with Cash App’s quick and simple way to buy and sell bitcoin. Square and the New York State DFS share a vision of empowering people with greater access to the financial system and today’s news is an important step in realizing that goal.
— Cash App (@CashApp) June 18, 2018
Square began offering Bitcoin trading on its Cash App at the beginning of 2018. However, residents in New York weren’t able to use the platform due to the strict nature of the cryptocurrency regulations in the state. BitLicenses are notoriously difficult to obtain. Speaking about its latest approval, Maria Vullo, the superintendent of the NYDFS said:
DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market. DFS continues to work in support of a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.
Square previously obtained a money-transmitter license from the DFS.
Square Shares Up By 82 Percent in 2018
In the aftermath of the announcement, the shares of the company increased by about 1.3 percent. 2018 continues to be an excellent year for Square as its YTD share performance stands at 82 percent increase. The firm’s growth isn’t restricted to its financial performance as its legacy trading platform has also posted positive numbers.
The Square Cash App was launched in 2015. According to Nomura Instinet, the increase in the number of user downloads for the app has surpassed that of PayPal’s Venmo. Since 2016, Cash App’s user downloads have increased by 128 percent while Venmo has risen by 74 percent.
Dan Dolev, an analyst at Nomura Instinet, believes this latest BitLicense approval will catapult the company to even greater heights. Speaking to CNBC, he said:
That was one of the missing pieces in their puzzle. They had approval in most states, but New York was by far the biggest one where you couldn’t trade bitcoin. This announcement gives people another excuse to download the app. It might not move the bottom line right away, but it definitely helps from a marketing perspective.
Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, founded Square in 2009. According to a recent shareholders report, there were 7 million active users on the Cash App as at December 2017.
Will the recent BitLicense approval increase the number of downloads for the Square Cash App? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.
Image courtesy of Twitter (@CashApp) and Business Insider.
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple is a big supporter of Bitcoin. The tech luminary affectionately dubbed “Woz” is the latest member of the burgeoning “Bitcoin only” brigade. In the vast world of cryptocurrencies, there are those who believe that Bitcoin is the be-all and end-all of the cryptocurrency universe.
Bitcoin as the Single Global Currency
According to Wozniak, Bitcoin has the potential to become the single global currency of the future. Despite the current struggles of the number one cryptocurrency since reaching its peak in late 2017, Woz is bullish about the prospects of BTC. In an interview with CNBC, he declared:
I buy into what Jack Dorsey says, not that I necessarily believe it’s going to happen, but because I want it to be that way, that is so pure thinking.
Wozniak’s agrees with recent the remarks made by Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey who is himself another BTC believer. In March 2017, the Twitter boss said that BTC could become the native currency of the internet. Dorsey is a known cryptocurrency proponent. He is also the CEO of Square, one of the prominent Bitcoin trading companies in the cryptocurrency market.
Wozniak in siding with Dorsey’s views even goes several steps further. He proposes that BTC ought to be more than an internet currency, but rather, the currency for both online and offline transactions all over the world. Enforcing this belief, the Apple co-founder proceeded to say:
Bitcoin is mathematically defined, there is a certain quantity of bitcoin, there’s a way it’s distributed… and it’s pure and there’s no human running, there’s no company running and it’s just… growing and growing.
Bitcoin is Superior to Gold and Fiat
This isn’t the first positive declaration that Wozniak has made concerning Bitcoin. In fact, he has in the past said that Nakamoto’s creation is better than gold and fiat money. Speaking in October 2017, Wozniak identified the fixed supply as well as the mathematical protocols that control the way it operates as the factors that make it superior to gold and even the U.S. dollar. Elaborating on the matter, Wozniak said:
There is a certain amount of bitcoin that can ever exist. Gold gets mined and mined and mined. Maybe there’s a finite amount of gold in the world, but cryptocurrency is even more mathematical and regulated and nobody can change mathematics.
Wozniak’s Bitcoin enthusiasm hasn’t come without a price though. In March 2018, he revealed that he was defrauded of seven BTC by internet fraudsters. Despite this mishap, Wozniak is undeterred in his support for the cryptocurrency. He only owns one BTC having sold the others after becoming disillusioned with the volatile nature of the market. Wozniak first bough BTC when they were trading for about $700.
The Apple co-founder is also a big fan of Ethereum. In May 2018, he compared ETH to the way Apple was back in the 80s. He also said he believes Ethereum can revolutionize the digital application creation process.
Do you agree with Wozniak that Bitcoin will be the single global currency of the future? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.
Image courtesy of Ethereum World News archives and CoinMarketCap.