News broke yesterday that California based mobile payment company ‘Square’ was granted a Virtual Currency Licence. Square is owned and operated by Jack Dorsey (who also owns Twitter). To date, Dorsey has been a strong advocate for the usage of cryptocurrency, and has recently stated, “The internet deserves a native currency; it will have a native currency. I don’t know if it’ll be Bitcoin or not. I hope it will be.”
To operate in the state of New York while dealing with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, companies must apply for a Virtual Currency Licence with the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). The final framework for being granted this licence was published on June 24, 2015. In the time that has passed since then, Square becomes only the 9th applicant to be approved a ‘BitLicence’. To have an application approved, a company is first evaluated on many policies. These range from cybersecurity, anti-fraud, anti-money laundering, consumer protection, and more. In addition, recipients of the licence must also adhere to continued over-watch by the NYDFS.
In the press release from the NYDFS, Brian Grassadonia said, “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.” Currently operating as the Executive VP & General Manager of Cash App, Brian has steadily risen through the company ranks since 2010. At that point he had begun as a Product Manager, and worked multiple roles before assuming his current status.
As expected, Square saw their stocks rise yesterday to an all-time high. After announcement of the application approval, their shares were valued at $65.75. This is the result of a 150% gain throughout 2017, and a 90% gain so far in 2018. Not only did Square shares react accordingly though. The cryptocurrency market as a whole saw a $13 billion gain following the announcement by Square yesterday. With 7million active monthly users, a well-spoken advocate at the helm, and a fantastic service offering, Square clearly has influence on the still young and burgeoning crypto markets.
Despite the slight reprieve from declining prices, Bitcoin remains significantly depressed from its late-2017 highs. Peaking at almost $20,000 in late December of 2017, BTC currently sits at $6750 after the boost from the news regarding Square. Although many are uneasy with the state of the market, the fundamentals are stronger than ever. There has been a bevy of good news and progression in the previous months that will allow for a better Bitcoin to be used in the future. Even though it may not show in the price currently, Bitcoin is stronger than ever. The network hashrate is at an all-time high. Meaning more people are mining, and financially invested in the future of Bitcoin.
As adoption continues, and the market continues to see news such as this BitLicence approval, Bitcoin will only get stronger. There is the potential for further drop in the short term, but with developments such as this, there might not be many more opportunities to buy into the market at these prices.