Cash App Now Offers “Paid in Bitcoin” Feature, “Lightning Receive” Coming Soon

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In short

  • Payment giant Block has announced that US users will soon be able to receive Bitcoin through the Lightning Network.
  • The company also announced that Cash App users can choose to be paid in Bitcoin.

Block users who receive their paychecks through Cash App’s direct deposit feature can now receive some or all of those wages in Bitcoin.

The company formerly known as Square announced the new “Paid in Bitcoin” feature at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami on Thursday.

The “Paid in Bitcoin” option was just one of three new features announced by Block, which recently doubled down on its ambitious crypto program that it accelerated last year.

One of the other new features is a “rounded” Bitcoin option for those using Cash App‘s debit card. This means that a user who makes a Starbucks purchase of $2.80 can choose to add the extra 20 cents to their Bitcoin account. (Round-up apps have been popular in fintech for years; in 2017, CoinDesk acquired a bitcoin summarizing app called Lawnmower.)

Cash App to add the ability to receive Bitcoin Lightning payments

The latest feature announced by Block concerns the Lightning Network—a rail that facilitates fast, low-cost bitcoin payments.

While Block integrated the Lightning to Cash app in February, users can currently only send Bitcoin over the network, not receive it – something Block says will change in the “near future”.

Soon, customers will also be able to receive bitcoin via the Lightning Network by simply sharing your QR code or payment request. This new feature furthers Cash App’s mission to make bitcoin usable as currency,” the company said in a statement.

Block added that receiving Lightning payments will only be available to US customers, with the exception of those living in New York, likely due to the state’s onerous crypto licensing regime.

This all comes as Block, best known for hardware like payment dongles and cash registers, is betting its future on becoming a crypto-first company.

The company’s Cash app – a rival to Venmo and Zelle – is said to have around 36 million monthly active users and has been a key way to introduce Block users to crypto.

Block’s new features this week also put it in more direct competition with services like Coinbase and Robinhood, which also offer a combination of traditional and crypto payment services.

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