Square’s Stock Pops as New Bitcoin Business Balloons

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Shares of Square have come back to earth, falling from almost $50 to about $35 in just a few weeks. Granted, in August Square stock was trading at $25, so it’s still up a good deal.

But one asset that hasn’t come back to earth? Bitcoin. Prices are up almost $1,000 to $12,660 in early Wednesday trading. For reference, bitcoin prices were trading around $4,000 in August, which goes to show just how parabolic of a run it’s been.

In mid-November, Square launched a bitcoin pilot program on its Cash App, allowing select users to buy and sell the cryptocurrency. That obviously got a lot of investors (and users) excited, as Square was now acting as a gateway to this hot new asset class.

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On Tuesday evening, CEO Jack Dorsey — who’s also the CEO of Twitter — tweeted, “Turning on Bitcoin for a lot more cash app folks right now,” while simultaneously retweeting the Cash App’s announcement that more users will be able to access the feature.

Does that mean that bitcoin is here to stay on the Cash App? It certainly doesn’t signal that things are going bad and Square is ready to shut it down. Right now the app only allows users to buy and sell bitcoin. If users gain the ability to pay each other in bitcoin, the stock and the cryptocurrency could gain even more popularity.

Of course, Apple’s presence might change that. With Apple Pay Cash, iOS users are finally able to send and receive money. That, of course, has weighed on PayPal , which uses its own platform and Venmo for this very action. But don’t forget how this may impact Square.

While PayPal or Venmo may be the first platforms that come to mind when thinking about sending money, Square’s Cash App is actually one of the most popular. On Apple’s App Store, Square’s product comes in at No. 20 on the list of most popular free apps. Venmo sits at No. 37, while PayPal is down at No. 43.

Interestingly enough, Coinbase, a site used to buy and sell bitcoin, rests at No. 36.

So where does that leave us? Square stock is up 3.3% to $38.83 in early Wednesday trading. Expanding its bitcoin offering is an obvious positive headline given how well the cryptocurrency is doing. Will that translate to further gains? Maybe. It’s what helped drive Square to $50 just a few weeks ago.

But the competitive space is heating up in Square’s core business and that shouldn’t be completely dismissed just because of the company’s announcement Tuesday. In fact, BTIG analyst Mark Palmer made this very point just on November 27, assigning a $30 price target on Square.

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