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Square's CFO Talks Bitcoin: We Have To Be There As An Innovator

Square's CFO Talks Bitcoin: We Have To Be There As An Innovator
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Square Inc (NYSE: SQ)'s decision to provide a handful of Square Cash users with the ability to buy and sell bitcoin directly on the Square Cash app is seen by many as a wise move.

The Executive

Square CFO Sarah Friar.

The Thesis

Square's reputation as a "payment innovator" implies that the company isn't going to sit around to gather academic papers and studies on bitcoin, Friar told CNBC's Jim Cramer in an interview. Square realizes that the best way to understand a new trend in the financial world is to build products around them, she said. 

Square's decision also stems from its willingness to listen to what customers want, Friar said. Square's customers aren't asking to accept bitcoin, but individuals using Square Cash to make payments are certainly looking for an easy way to buy and sell the digital currency, the executive said.

For the time being at least Square's acceptance of bitcoin is an "experiment" that could be expanded in the future, Friar said. 

"We want to do an experiment and say, 'OK, is this real?'" Friar said. "Do customers actually want to be able to do this?"

Square's philosophy is that it has to take "some risk" but follow the direction of where innovation is going, Friar said. Square's openness to bitcoin is akin to companies who questioned the logic years ago of moving their data outside of data centers and into the cloud, she said. 

"I don't think we know yet what it's going to be, but I think, absolutely, as an innovator, Square has to be there to let a customer do what they want to do."

Price Action

Shares of Square are higher by nearly 200 percent since the start of 2017 and nearly 250 percent over the past year.

Related Links:

Square's Bitcoin Feature Could Secure An 'Early Mover Position'

Here's How You Could Be A Pawn In The Cryptocurrency Game

Posted-In: Bitcoin CNBC payments Sara FriarForex Markets Tech Media Best of Benzinga


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