Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash is Now More Popular Than Venmo

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Data from app research firm Sensor Tower and Nomura Instinet have revealed that cumulative downloads of Square’s Cash App have surpassed that of its rival, Paypal’s Venmo, per a Bloomberg report.

Square’s Cash App now has a cumulative total download of 33.5 million, which exceeds Venmo’s 32.9 million for the first time, after a successful July where it grew three times faster than Venmo. Both companies had made their peer-to-peer platforms a priority, introducing new features in a bid to increase the user base and monetize it.

Square has taken steps to grow the adoption of its Cash Card by making it an integral part of its product ecosystem. It has integrated the app with Caviar — its food delivery business — made it useful for instant payments (such as payment for gasoline), and provided Square merchants with an option to transfer payroll deposits to employees.

Dan Dolev, an analyst that works with Nomura Instinet, expects the new market-leading position to boost Square’s shares with an estimated $30 million or 2 to 3 percent of adjusted net revenues in 2018. His report cites his analysis and data from Sensor Tower.

The app, often referred to as “Square Cash,” allows users to send and receive money from friends and accept card payments for your business. According to the company’s second quarter release, Cash App customers spent $250 million on cash transaction.

In his note to clients on Tuesday, Dolev believes the app can affect the growth of Square, which could reach or exceed “$100 million in sales by 2020” despite the absence of “active user penetration.” Square’s stock rose 3.3% to hit an intraday high of $ 74.99, which is about 726 percent increase since the company went public in 2015.

square buy bitcoinCash App users can buy and sell bitcoin from within the app.

The company also recently rolled out bitcoin trading to all 50 U.S. states. In a tweet shared on Aug. 13, the company said users can now use the app to buy and sell bitcoin throughout the country.

Dolev believes Square’s growth is “more than just a bitcoin play.” The payment app kept growing despite the slump in crypto prices and a slowdown in downloads of popular cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase.

“Interestingly, this relationship 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,” Dolev explained.

Square was co-founded nine years ago by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who believes the internet will adopt a “single currency” within a decade and that this currency “will be bitcoin.”

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Wall Street’s Crypto Caution Risks Coinbase Gaining ‘Unassailable’ Position

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Cryptocurrency trading revenue is primed to explode within the near future, and Wall Street is running out of time if it hopes to stop industry giant Coinbase from gaining an indomitable market position.

Writing in a new report titled “Crypto Trading — the Next Big Thing is Here?,” analysts at market research firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. forecast that cryptocurrency trading revenue — the fees that exchanges charge for each trade — could soar to $4 billion in 2018, despite the fact that gross trading volume has declined in recent months along with cryptocurrency prices. Bernstein’s research was first reported by Bloomberg.

If trading revenue does hit $4 billion, it will represent an increase of more than 120 percent from 2017. The firm estimates that exchanges brought in a combined $1.8 billion in trading fees last year, which works out to about eight percent of the fees generated on traditional stock exchanges.

All of this, Bernstein analysts led by Christian Bolu wrote, presents Wall Street with a tremendous opportunity to profit from a rapidly-maturing asset class.

“As the crypto-asset class seasons and institutional demand builds, there are a plethora of opportunities for traditional firms,” the analysts wrote, ranging from market-marking to regulated custody of cryptoassets. Indeed, industry observers regularly point to the dearth of regulated custodians as one reason that more institutional investors have not taken a more active interest in cryptoassets.

A few firms, most notably Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), have begun taking concrete steps to establish themselves as leaders in the cryptocurrency marketplace. However, by and large, Wall Street has remained hesitant to jump feet-first into cryptocurrency.

Wall Street firms pursue this cautious course at its own peril, the Bernstein analysts warned, because the window in which they have the opportunity to wrest a dominant market position away from current cryptocurrency giants is rapidly closing.

If they don’t move quickly, Coinbase — who Bernstein estimates rakes in approximately 50 percent of all trading revenue between its brokerage and professional exchange platforms and now boasts twice as many users as Schwab — could achieve an “unassailable competitive position” that even the largest players on Wall Street will not be able to overcome.

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Decentralized Exchange for Ethereum Promises Lower Fees Than Rivals

A decentralized exchange claims that its trading fees are considerably lower than that of its rivals — with a one percent fee reduced to 0.03 percent whenever they use the platform’s native tokens.

Blockonix says its exchange is the “most clean, most user friendly” on the marketplace right now and offers a more cost-effective experience than the likes of EtherDelta, Idex and ForkDelta.

The platform provides users with a way to trade Ethereum — as well as Ethereum-based digital assets and tokens — around the world, and its team says it is “promoting a new wave of payment gateways and exchanges with futuristic applications.” Blockonix does not store any assets in its infrastructure, with all funds remaining with the user at all times.

Blockonix says, unlike other exchanges, it earns zero percent — and all of the fees collected through the platform are used to buy back BDT tokens and burn them. This includes the five ETH fee for listing on the exchange itself. Whereas other organizations are driven by profit, Blockonix says it is motivated by community.

In an article explaining the rationale behind its fees, the platform wrote: “Some of you would begin to question yourself why we are charging so little to offer a very complex service which demands constant monitoring to enforce maximum security.

“We have developed the right technology which enable us to significantly cut down our operational cost while keeping our system at the top level in terms of security and functionality.”

A change of plans

Blockonix was formerly known as BitIndia, and that platform was intended to be an exclusive exchange for Indian crypto enthusiasts. The organization said it had to make the “tough decision” to rebrand, make the exchange purely decentralized and shift its focus international following the Indian government’s negative response to cryptocurrencies.

As reported by Cointelegraph earlier in August, the country’s Department of Economic Affairs said certain crypto assets could be made legal to use in India — with officials saying they “categorically denied” that cryptocurrencies themselves would be used “in any manner” at some point in the future.

Most of those who held BitIndia tokens have now had them replaced with BDT tokens — and according to Blockonix, almost 170 million BITINDIA tokens have been burned permanently, with just over 10 million remaining in circulation.

Decentralized exchanges create ‘trustless environments’ where deals are made through smart contracts or atomic swaps instead of going via a middleman. This is different than a centralized exchange, where an organization is trusted to look after a customer’s money on their behalf.

As explained here, decentralized exchanges are appealing to some because they remove a single point of authority — helping to reduce costs and enhance levels of privacy and security.

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