Square’s (SQ) revenue from its bitcoin (BTC) business increased 11-fold compared with this time last year.
"Cash App generated $3.51 billion of bitcoin revenue and $75 million of bitcoin gross profit during the first quarter of 2021, each up approximately 11x year over year," according to a shareholder letter published Thursday.
That was double Square’s bitcoin revenue of $1.76 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020. Bitcoin revenue for the first quarter of 2020 was $306 million.
Total revenue in the first quarter of this year was $5.06 billion, meaning bitcoin revenue accounted for 70% of Square's total consolidated revenue in the quarter.
In addition to Cash App’s involvement as a mainstream gateway to bitcoin, Square holds a portion of its treasury in the cryptocurrency.
"In the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021, we invested $50 million and $170 million, respectively, in bitcoin," Square wrote, adding that it expects to "hold this investment for the long term."
Due to fluctuations in market prices during the first quarter, the company reported a $20 million impairment loss on its bitcoin holdings. Nevertheless, by quarter's end, the value had made a strong gain, as Square reported a $472 million fair value of its bitcoin on March 31, $272 million greater than its carrying cost.
Read more about
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.