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Square Unveils Bitcoin Auto Payments Tool

A mobile subsidiary of Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square now allows users to make automatic purchases of bitcoin.

Dorsey said on Twitter – that other company he runs – that Cash App had, from Monday, enabled automatic purchases of bitcoin at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, or fortnightly.

Although there’s a minimum $10 purchase, the new feature provides users with the ability to gradually gain exposure to the original cryptocurrency without exposing themselves to too much volatility risk. “By spreading purchases out over time, you may minimize the impact of market swings,” Cash App tweeted.

Cash App launched to facilitate app-to-app payments in fiat currencies. Rolling out bitcoin trading in the summer of 2019, and allowing users to deposit BTC the following June, the company disclosed earlier this year that just under half its total revenue, around $178 million, came from bitcoin purchases in Q4 2019.

But one thing that stands out in the screenshot shared by Dorsey is the fact users now have the option to set up automatic purchases denominated in satoshis which, at 0.00000001 of a bitcoin, is the protocol’s smallest transaction unit.

That’s important. Consider: at just under $10,000, a single bitcoin already prices out many retail investors; it’s also comparatively scarce, with only 21 million in existence. In comparison: with more than 2.1 quadrillion satoshis knocking about, and at a current price of $0.0009, the ‘sat’ becomes accessible to a broader number of people, as adoption continues.

It might indicate a gradual trend for traders and investors to resort to a smaller unit of account in response to the Bitcoin protocol itself increasing in both size and value. A good comparison might be that few people, aside from the very wealthy, go around buying whole troy ounces of gold (~$1,7400) but generally much smaller denominations.

Cash App isn’t the first to denominate payments in satoshis, but it is the most high profile payment apps to do it so far.

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Daily Beast News

The Coronavirus ‘Trump Death Clock’ in Times Square May Be Coming to a City Near You

In the early hours Friday, those braving tourist-free Times Square were treated to an arresting sight: a white billboard projecting the words ‘Trump Death Clock’ in big black letters; underneath, a counter in red reading ‘44,809.’ These are the deaths that, according to two of the world’s leading epidemiologists, could have been avoided had the Trump administration acted just one week prior to March 16, when nationwide mitigation measures were first introduced to the public.

“I looked at those numbers and thought, just as the National Debt Clock warns us of the costs of reckless borrowing, we need a National Death Clock—in this case, a Trump Death Clock—to estimate and calculate the costs of reckless pandemic leadership by the president and his team,” says filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, the creator of the clock.

According to Dr. Britta Jewell and Dr. Nicholas Jewell, “an estimated 90 percent of the cumulative deaths in the United States” from the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic could have been prevented had social-distancing guidelines been put in place on March 2, when the total U.S. death tally was 11, and “the effect would have been substantial had the policies been imposed even one week earlier, on March 9, resulting in approximately a 60 percent reduction in deaths.”

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Coindesk News

Bitcoin Revenue in Square’s Cash App Tops Fiat Revenue for First Time in Q1

Bitcoin has flippened USD on Square’s Cash App, sort of.

As reported in the publicly traded fintech company’s first-quarter earnings Wednesday, Cash App brought in $222 million on all its other fiat-powered services in Q1. Meanwhile, revenue from bitcoin was $306 million, the first quarter in which bitcoin revenue surpassed all other revenue on the app. 

“In the first quarter, Cash App gross profit grew 115% year over year,” the shareholder letter reported. 

Gross profit on Cash App, however, remains to be found primarily outside of crypto. Of Square’s $222 million in non-bitcoin revenue, $178 million of that was profit. The Cash App saw one of its best quarters yet for new users in the first quarter of 2020, across its many different services.

Bitcoin profit through Square’s Cash App was $7 million in the first quarter of 2020. It earned $8 million in bitcoin profit through the whole of 2019.

Still, on the revenue side, the year-over-year growth in bitcoin sales was steep.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company noted: 

“Bitcoin revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2020 increased by $240.6 million or 367%, compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. The increase was due to growth in the number of active bitcoin customers, as well as growth in customer demand.”

Total revenue from bitcoin in the first quarter was $306 million, versus $65 million in the first quarter of 2019. Square earned $178 million in bitcoin revenue through the prior quarter, the last of 2019. 

Total revenue for Square this quarter was $1.38 billion, roughly 43% over what it earned in the first quarter of last year. Square had $535 million in gross profit for the quarter, but a $105 million net loss.

Zack Seward contributed reporting.

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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.

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