Is Square The New Kid On The Block?

In an announcement a long-time in the making, though still a bit shocking, Twitter co-founder and former CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced that his company Square, Inc. would be renamed Block, Inc.  

Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006 with Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams. He led the company through a couple of rounds of venture capitalist funding and user interface redesigns.  Having served as CEO over two nonconsecutive terms, he was the chairman of the board from 2008-20015. 

Calls for Dorsey to step down as CEO have increased throughout the past year. The outcry became particularly pronounced when it was reported that Elliot Management Company, a company with right-leaning activist sentiments,  purchased a shareholder stake in Twitter. 

In November of this year, Dorsey stepped down as Twitter’s CEO to reportedly focus on philanthropic efforts and grow Square, Inc. A day later he announced the name change from Square to Block. 

What Is Square Again?

Back in 2009, Dorsey co-founded Square, a company that allows individuals to accept credit card payments on their smartphones. A stone's throw from Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, this new low fee technology was met with much enthusiasm and approval by small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers. 

A Trip Around The Block

On December 10, just one day after announcing he was stepping down as the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey announced Square would be renamed Block. He noted that he would be focusing on the companies under the Block umbrella  because he believes Twitter is, “ready to move on from its founders.”

The name change is supposedly a reflection of what the company’s mission will be. 

“Block references the neighborhood blocks where we find our sellers, a blockchain, block parties full of music, obstacles to overcome, a section of code, building blocks, and of course, tungsten cubes." cnn.com

Much like Facebook’s rebrand/rename to Meta, Block, Inc. will separate the corporate entity from the businesses (the building blocks, if you will) under its umbrella:

Square - a business that provides software and services to sellers

CashApp - a mobile app for peer-to-peer money transfer services like Venmo or PayPal

Tidal - a musician-run music streaming service like Apple Music or Amazon Music

AfterPay -a buy it now pay later provider 

TBD54566975 - a financial services division focused on Bitcoin

Spiral(formerly Square Crypto) - a company dedicated to advancing cryptocurrencies globally

Dorsey Is Crazy For Crypto

The name change from Square to Block mostly reflects Dorsey’s love of all things blockchain. Over the past few years he has regularly tweeted his support for decentralized digital coin financial transactions; “the idea that technology and finance should not be concentrated among a handful of gatekeepers, as it is now, but should, instead, be steered by the hands of the many, either people or entities.” reuters.com

When Block was still Square it was one of the first public companies to own bitcoin assets on its balance sheet with a $220 million investment in cryptocurrency. Reports are now circulating about Block’s plans to build a bitcoin hardware wallet and; “a bitcoin mining system based on custom silicon and open source for individuals as well as businesses, according to reuters.com

In Miami at a bitcoin-focused conference Dorsey said:

“For me Bitcoin changes absolutely everything. What I’m drawn to the most about it is the ethos, is what it represents, are the conditions that created it, which are so rare and so special and so precious. I don’t think there’s anything more important in my lifetime to work on and I don’t think there’s anything more enabling for people around the world.”

Building Block of the Future

Love him or hate him there is no denying Dorsey is having a profound impact on technology and financial sectors around the world. He is a visionary who has set his sights on spreading his love of crypto to the masses. 

Square and CashApp provide small businesses and individual sellers a wealth of opportunities to expand and grow their businesses outside of big credit card companies. Tidal gives musicians back more control over their work while offering a high quality audio experience that rivals Amazon and Apple’s music streaming services. 

Block’s acquisition of AfterPay is also geared toward the individual buyer and taking a chunk out of credit card companies’ earnings allowing consumers access to digital lay-away but with the instant gratification of getting their purchase immediately. 

With his time at Twitter having ended Dorsey is now free to focus on his efforts on promoting and growing cryptocurrency as a viable alternative to the government backed (controlled) currencies while offering banking alternatives to the bankless around the globe.

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