Cryptocurrency isn’t just for your friends who spend too much time on Reddit and that one uncle who somehow seems to have a brand-new iPhone every year. Square, the renowned point-of-sale system for individuals and small businesses, just purchased a ton of Bitcoin—and this isn’t even the first time they’ve done so.
Square announced in February that they had purchased $170 million worth of Bitcoin—approximately 3,318 Bitcoins—which added to their prior balance of 4,709 Bitcoins. This leaves them with a grand total of over 8000 Bitcoins, thus contributing to roughly five percent of the platform’s assets.
Bitcoin is currently valued at just under $58,000 per share; Square’s purchase came at a time during which Bitcoin was valued closer to $51,000, making the investment lucrative enough for the time being. While cryptocurrency has demonstrated its fragility and volatility in the past, Bitcoin appears resilient enough to take a chance on—at least, that seems to be the case with Square.
The phenomenon of mainstream companies investing in cryptocurrency isn’t restricted to Square, either. Tesla recently acquired $1.5 billion in Bitcoin, citing a desire to diversify and expand their portfolio.
To be fair, Square’s purchase of so much Bitcoin—a move described by CEO Jack Dorsey as an “ongoing commitment to bitcoin”—makes sense as a payment management system. As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies progress toward mainstream acceptance, one can only assume that these digital currencies will become more commonplace as actual methods of payment. Owning a decent share of the currency can’t hurt their standing whenever that happens.
In fact, plenty of online marketplaces accept Bitcoin now, and you don’t even need Tor and a hearty VPN to access them. Additionally, services like Coinbase offer apps and guides for brick-and-mortar locations which accept Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is certainly making its way into the real world in one way or another; companies like Square and Tesla using them to diversify and grow only serves to expedite that process.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency items have been popping up in all sorts of weird places lately. Between the high risk, high reward nature of cryptocurrency and the increasing mainstream allure, it was only a matter of time before companies started investing seriously. Square and Tesla may be some of the first high-profile examples, but they won’t be the last.