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CashApp – the mobile payment service developed by Block – announced many major Bitcoin-related upgrades on Thursday. One of the new integrations allows users to automatically convert their incoming paychecks into Bitcoin.
Another Wave of Bitcoin Features
CashApp is quite familiar with Bitcoin and its surrounding technology already. It already allows users to purchase Bitcoin alongside stocks, and to send lightning network payments to wallets capable of receiving them.
In fact, another of today’s upgrades allows CashApp to receive lightning payments as well. That puts the app on both sides of Bitcoin’s premiere layer 2 scaling solution, which allows for transactions far cheaper and faster than on-chain ones. Yesterday, Bitcoin payment provider “Bitpay” began allowing its merchants to do the same.
Regarding its “Get Paid in Bitcoin” service, users can also auto-convert any percentage of their fiat salaries into Bitcoin, which is sent to CashApp through automated clearing house rails. According to Miles Sutter – Crypto Product Lead at CashApp – the service is completely free.
“This is the largest deployment of a feature like this at scale to date,” he explained at the Bitcoin 2022 Conference earlier today. “We already have a significant number of customers receiving recurring paychecks into CashApp.”
The app works by simply selecting a salary percentage to convert into Bitcoin, and tapping “done”. Apparently, free-agent NFL offensive tackle Russell Okung was the first to propose the idea to the company back in 2019. Though other companies like Coinbase and Strike have launched similar services already, most of them are crypto/ Bitcoin native businesses.
The third integration is called “Bitcoin roundups”, which lets users auto-convert their spare change into Bitcoin. Specifically, when users make payments using their Cash Card, the app will round payments up to the nearest dollar, and invest the remainder into the cryptocurrency.
Improving Bitcoin UX
Finally, the company is now focused on improving the user experience for Bitcoin transactions. It will be using unified QR codes that merge on-chain details with a lightning invoice for BItcoin payments.
“Customers shouldn’t care about what rails they’re sending BItcoin over,” continued Sutter. “It should just be a seamless, intuitive experience. One magic QR code, scan it, and it just works.”
Interestingly, this is not a new technology. It was introduced in BIP-21 many years ago, and simply “needed a push to proliferate throughout the ecosystem”. However, BIP-21 is backward compatible, meaning it still works with wallets that haven’t upgraded to enable the lightning network yet.