- San Francisco-based Block, the digital payments company formerly known as Square, is looking to deepen its Cash App platform’s reach into the community of bitcoin users and developers, CFO-COO Amrita Ahuja said at Square Unboxed, the company’s annual partner conference Thursday.
- Cash App, which was launched in 2013, offers users peer-to-peer payments and a host of financial services, including debit cards, direct deposit, tax preparation services, lending, bitcoin and investing. In December 2022, the app had 51 million monthly active users and inflows of $203 billion, she said.
- The company, co-founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey, who serves as head and chairman, is best known for its merchant payment toolset. It plans to more deeply integrate business transactions into Cash App, an effort which is currently in its early stages, Ahuja said.
Block seeks to grow the reach of Cash App, which represents a $75 billion market opportunity, Ahuja said during a presentation at the event in San Francisco that was also live-streamed. Primary revenue vehicles for Cash App include peer-to-peer payments, financial services and bitcoin trading.
The company is “investing in two new ecosystems: one for creators, and one for bitcoin developers and consumers,” Ahuja said. “We’re investing in bitcoin because we believe it has the potential to transform the global transmission of money.”
Ahuja has long been bullish on bitcoin’s prospects to uplift Cash App’s business.
“We’ve scratched the surface for further adoption of bitcoin in the United States and globally. We believe bitcoin is going to have a profound impact on financial services, particularly as a tool for economic empowerment as a global currency for the Internet,” she said at the company's 2022 Investor Day event.
At Square Unboxed, Ahuja highlighted some key features and initiatives pertinent to bitcoin, including: the self-custody bitcoin wallet, TBD, which she described as an open developer platform focused on “making the decentralized financial world accessible to everyone,” and Spiral, an independent team that contributes to bitcoin open source work.
“We’re using our experience with developer platforms and hardware to build for these new audiences. We believe these ecosystems can be meaningful opportunities in the future,” Ahuja said.
Cash App generated $3.27 billion of revenue and $931 million of gross profit in the first quarter of 2023, up 33% and 49% year over year, respectively, according to a shareholder letter. The company reported that Cash App generated $50 million of bitcoin gross profit during the quarter, up 16% year over year. The total sale amount of bitcoin sold to customers, which the company recognizes as bitcoin revenue, was $2.16 billion, up 25% year over year.
Block’s Cash App business stands alongside its merchant services business, which still operates under the brand Square. The company plans to bridge Block’s various business ecosystems with ‘buy now, pay later’ service Afterpay, Ahuja said. Afterpay was acquired by Block in a transaction that closed in 2022.