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 Whether you believe cryptocurrencies are a smart investment or not, they have undoubtedly captured the attention of consumers and financial institutions. Last year alone, Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) - two of the largest cryptocurrencies - rose in price by more than 1,000% and 1,400%, respectively.

However, these assets are also incredibly flexible. After the last crypto ball crash in December 2017, both cryptocurrencies lost more than 80% of their value. For investors who choose to avoid buying such risky assets but still prefer the interest of digital currency, shares such as Mastercard (NYSE: MA), PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL), and Square (NYSE: SQ) are seen as alternatives.

Here's why these three companies with cryptocurrency links deserve to dive deeper.


Mastercard operates one of the world's largest payment networks, connecting consumers, retailers, and financial institutions in more than 210 countries. That’s why the company’s support for cryptocurrencies is so great.

The Mastercard's philosophy is simple: Consumers should be able to use their money in whatever way they choose. That’s why the company has partnered with London fintech Wirex and a payment processor based in the U.S. BitPay introduced crypto payment cards last year. In both cases, these cards allow consumers to support purchases with digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, whether transactions occur in-store or online.

Mastercard has partnered with Uphold to launch the world's largest bulk card issuance card. With the Uphold platform, US consumers can purchase assets such as cryptocurrencies and precious metals, and use those assets to support purchases wherever Mastercard is accepted. In other words, if you want to buy a pizza with gold, now you can.

The bottom line is: Mastercard makes it easy for consumers to use Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the real world. That should increase the company’s payment volume, driving higher line growth as cryptocurrencies become more popular.


In October 2020, PayPal announced the launch of cryptocurrency trading on its platform. The feature has already been added to PayPal accounts in the U.S., and the company plans to bring similar operations to Venmo in the coming months. PayPal also plans to introduce crypto trading in global markets this year.

In a phone call to new recipients, CEO Dan Schulman said the response to the launch of the crypto company was "exceeded" as expected. Schulman also noted that this was just the first step in "Paymap for a broad roadmap around crypto, blockchain, and digital finance."

For example, a company will allow users to work with cryptocurrency. In other words, consumers will be able to buy from any of the 29 million PayPal merchants using Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other digital currencies. That feature should be introduced later this term and could change the game.

Finally, PayPal recently announced its acquisition of Curv. This Israeli-based initiative provides a secure platform that assists exchanges, asset managers, banks, and fintech to securely store digital assets such as cryptocurrency. The Curv team will join the newly formed PayPal business unit that focuses on blockchain and digital finance, strengthening its dam of growing resources.

Now, what is the main point? PayPal is obviously riding on cryptocurrencies, and its support is a huge win for the crypto community. The company's system to allow crypto-funded transactions should help make money like Bitcoin more common. In addition, this move should help PayPal add new accounts and grow its payment business as the crypto craze continues to gain steam.


The square punched both companies. Back in 2018, it began allowing Cash App users to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin.

Since then, the company has invested heavily in this service. Recently, Sikwele spent $ 50 million on Bitcoin in October 2020, buying about 4,709 tokens at the time. And shortly thereafter, Sikwele bought another 3,318 tokens for an additional $ 170 million. Now, Bitcoin represents about 5% of Square's revenue, the equivalent of money, and security for sale.

While digital currency does not generate many direct profits - almost 2% gross in Bitcoin - it has helped increase Cash App user engagement. In fact, in the company's latest shareholders' letter, Square pointed out that more than 3 million Cash App buyers sold Bitcoin by 2020, with more than one million buying Bitcoin for the first time in January 2021.

Read more, Personal Finance: The Main Risks Of Investing In Bitcoin | What Bitcoin Teaches Us About Risky Investing?

That increasing level of engagement has turned into a very high profit per user because consumers who sell Bitcoin via the Cash App use other products (such as Square Cash Card) more often.

Finally, Square added Bitcoin to its Boost program in December 2020, allowing consumers to earn Bitcoin when shopping with their Square Cash Card. Also, this improves user engagement. In fact, according to Square, Boost members earn more than twice as much as other Cash Card buyers, making huge profits from the project.

Going forward, Square’s strategy around Bitcoin should continue to attract new users to the platform and deepen Cash App user engagement. That, in turn, should have the potential to increase the profits of the fintech company.