Square Chief Financial Officer Sarah Friar spoke to Jim Cramer this week about the company’s latest venture and it has to do with bitcoin.
She said, “We’re experimenting with bitcoin to see if it’s ‘real’.”
She explained to CNBC, “We’re a payment innovator. And therefore I think it behooves us to always know, where are our payments going? When we develop products at Square, we spend a lot of time listening to what our customers want, and what we heard from individuals – so this isn’t sellers asking to accept bitcoin, this is individuals using Square Cash to make payments … saying, ‘We want an easy way to buy and sell bitcoin.'”
“You’re talking about it, it’s out there, and so we want to do an experiment and say, ‘OK, is this real? Do customers actually want to be able to do this?'” Friar asked. “And then what it does internally is it makes everyone who supports that sort of innovation get to work and figure out how do we do this and do this in the right way?”
The mobile payment company announced that the test will let customers buy and sell the digital currency within the app, but that it does not allow individuals or businesses to send or accept bitcoin. Following the news, bitcoin gained about 11%.
According to Jim Cramer, Square’s venture should “make people feel better about bitcoin.”
“Ultimately, you have to be out there taking some risk and being able to go where innovation is going,” said Friar. “It feels like the early days of the internet or the early days of the shift to the cloud. How many people said, ‘We’ll never take data outside our data center, that’s not safe’?”
“I look at digital currency like that. 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,” Friar commented.
Disclaimer: We have no position in Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) and have not been compensated for this article.