Square’s Cash App briefly halts buying AMC and Nokia stock

“This was not Cash App’s decision – we disagree with this move wholeheartedly,” tweeted the service.

Cash App, the Bitcoin-friendly mobile payments app from U.S. financial services firm Square, restricted buys from some of the stocks connected to the Wall Street shorts for more than four hours today.

According to an announcement from Cash App, its clearing broker, Axos, halted the app’s ability to complete purchases of stocks for Gamestop, AMC Entertainment, Nokia, and Koss Corporation — at least three of the stocks pushed by retail investors on the r/Wallstreetbets subreddit in their fight against hedge funds’ shorts. However, the app later tweeted that the broker has restored trading for AMC and Nokia.

Cash App initially said that it “wholeheartedly” disagreed with Axos’ actions and added it would attempt to allow users to purchase all the affected stocks “as soon as possible.” The platform has not mentioned any change in the status of trading Gamestop and Koss Corporation stocks, but the price of GME fell under $100 for the first time in a week, reaching reaching $99.50 at the time of publication.

Though it appeared the Cash App was trying to distance itself from any possible allegations of market manipulation in the wake of the GameStop short sells, the restrictions on buys was similar to those imposed by other trading apps last week.

Robinhood announced on Jan. 28 that it had suspended buying for GameStop stock and others after many of the stocks surged. The trading app has since lowered these restrictions, but its users are still limited to buying one GME share as of yesterday.

Many on social media seemed to place the blame for restricting trading on Axos rather than Cash App, but still expressed their frustration after the parallels with Robinhood.

“Thank you for the transparency,” said Twitter user Phoenix Williams. “Robinhood was under the same situation but they chose to lie.”

Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted a message to his 5.2 million followers in response to the trade restrictions essentially telling users to hold their assets amid the chaos in the market. 

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