New York Approval of Crypto Trading App Ignites Price Rally for Bitcoin, Altcoins

The cryptocurrency market on Monday added $13 billion in the span of one hour after New York’s Department of Financial Services granted Square a digital currency license.

Square Cash App Approved for BitLicense

San Francisco-based startup Square, Inc. announced Monday it has been granted approval by New York regulators to launch its cryptocurrency trading platform in the state. The new crypto service will be offered through Square’s Cash app, which has seven million monthly active users, based on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

The announcement was confirmed by Square in conjunction with an official press release issued by New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS).

“DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market.,” Superintendent Maria Vullo said in a statement. “DFS continues to work in support of a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.”

Bitcoin buying launched for Cash users last fall; by January, most users had access to the crypto trading platform. Square announced in March it would seek a BitLicense to bring bitcoin trading to the nation’s second-most populous state.

Cash App has reportedly generated $34 million in profit through its bitcoin trading service.

Bitcoin, Cryptos Pop

Cryptocurrencies added roughly $13 billion in value between 12:22 UTC and 13:27 UTC, bringing the total market cap to $289.5 billion. Total trading volumes spiked by more than $1.5 billion over the same period.

At press time, the total value of all cryptos in circulation was $287.1 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That represents a gain of about $23 billion from last week’s bear market low.

Bitcoin reached a high of $6,781.14 following the Square Cash announcement. It was last seen trading around $6,716, according to BarCart data.

The largest cryptocurrency by capitalization showed signs of breaking down earlier in the day as prices approached $6,300 on the major exchanges. BTC/USD was little changed over the weekend as the bulls failed to extend last week’s modest relief rally.

Despite the latest gain, bitcoin remains about 10% lower for June and is down more than 50% year-to-date.

As an asset class, altcoins rose more than $8 billion Monday afternoon. At $172.2 billion, digital currencies outside of bitcoin represent 60% of the total market.

All coins within the top-ten reported gains. Percentage-wise, Tron was the best performer, rallying 5.4% to $0.045. Ethereum jumped 3.4% to $517.46. Bitcoin cash added nearly 4% to trade at $884.28.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi