Square Inc. reported quarterly sales that missed estimates, with its business primarily driven by demand for Bitcoin transactions within the company’s Cash App. Shares declined about 4 per cent in extended trading.

The San Francisco-based payments company also announced it purchased roughly US$170 million worth of Bitcoin, and the cryptocurrency now accounts for about 5 per cent of total cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey is a vigorous advocate of cryptocurrency.

Revenue more than doubled to US$3.16 billion in the period ending Dec. 31, falling short of the US$3.22 billion average of analysts’ estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Square said its peer-to-peer payments app, Cash App, which lets people buy stocks, store money and send money to friends, increased monthly users 50 per cent to 36 million in December from a year earlier. The company previously said usage of the app picked up in mid-2020 as people turned to it to accept government stimulus checks. Square also pointed to Cash App’s success as a main driver of the business in the third quarter, thanks in large part to Bitcoin-related transactions.

Profit, excluding some items, was 32 cents a share, compared with analysts’ estimates of 24 cents. Net income declined to US$294 million from US$391 million in the quarter a year earlier, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Gross Payment Volume, or the cost of goods and services processed by retailers using Square’s sales products, increased 12 per cent to was US$32 billion.