Shares of Square Inc. (SQ - Free Report) were up more than 2.3% in morning trading Wednesday after the payments company announced that it is testing support for bitcoin through its mobile application, Cash App.
“We're exploring how Square can make this experience faster and easier, and have rolled out this feature to a small number of Cash app customers,” a company spokesperson said to CNBC. “We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system and we're excited to learn more here.”
Along with the meteoric rise in the price of bitcoin, platforms for buying and selling the cryptocurrency have exploded over the past year or so. According to analysis by Altana Digital Currency Fund cited by CNBC, Coinbase, the largest U.S. bitcoin trading outlet, has witnessed its user base double to 12.5 million since January.
Some analysts were quick to react favorably to Square’s announcement that it is testing these waters.
“We believe it could place SQ in an early-mover position as a mainstream fin-tech company providing crypto-currency services,” wrote Credit Suisse analysts Paul Condra and Mrinalini Bhutoria in a note. “SQ is also well positioned to enable crypto transactions at the physical point of sale.”
Square isn’t the only publicly-traded company to see its shares rise on the back of crypto-related news. For example, Overstock.com (OSTK - Free Report) has skyrocketed more than 180% this year as investors have rewarded the company’s bets on the blockchain technology that powers bitcoin.
Still, some were hesitant to declare Square’s bitcoin test a major moment for cryptocurrency transactions.
“It's nice, but I think the bigger thing is if you can eventually be able to pay with Square [point-of-sale terminals] with bitcoins. It's a nice PR thing but it's not a fundamental mover and shaker,” Nomura Instinet analyst Dan Dolev said to CNBC.
Want more stock market analysis from this author? Make sure to follow @Ryan_McQueeney on Twitter!
The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All
Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.
See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>