Well that didn't take long...
Less than a week after Jack Dorsey stepped down as CEO of the angry screamfest known as Twitter, it appears he has moved all-in on crypto by renaming his other company from Square to Block.
As Dorsey says, The change to Block acknowledges the company’s growth.
It’s now clear that Square is Dorsey’s favorite child and needs all of his attention to advance the role it could play in popularizing bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency.
"If I were not at Square or Twitter I'd be working on bitcoin," Dorsey said at a cryptocurrency conference in Miami in June. At the time, he said “both companies have a role to play.”
In June, Blockstream, the bitcoin mining company, announced that Square was investing $5 million in a solar-powered mining operation.
In July, Dorsey said Square was building “a new business” that would operate alongside divisions like Cash App and Tidal to build tools for developers, focused on bitcoin.
Square also helped set up the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance, which aims to defend the industry against patent trolls.
Recently, Square also announced that it was developing its own hardware crypto wallet “to make bitcoin custody more mainstream.”
“Bitcoin is for everyone,” Dorsey said in a tweet. “It’s important to us to build an inclusive product.”
Despite those moves, Square remains a relative newbie in crypto. Bitcoin trading has juiced its revenue lately, but it’s going up against nimbler, faster-moving competitors like Coinbase and Robinhood.
“Jack wants all in on crypto,” Constellation Research analyst Ray Wang told Protocol. “He doesn’t want to miss the next big thing.”
“It’s early in the marketplace,” Wang said. “This space will be won by a few players. We are in 1997 for the internet.”
One challenge for Dorsey and Square is his well-known allegiance to bitcoin, which is increasingly just one cryptocurrency among many, and not the most technically sophisticated one. Wang says Square needs “to be in the middle of smart contracts,” a technology most firmly established on the Ethereum blockchain.
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Square, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) announced today that it is changing its name to Block. Block will be the name for the company as a corporate entity. The Square name has become synonymous with the company’s Seller business, which provides an integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions, business software, and banking services for sellers, and this move allows the Seller business to own the Square brand it was built for.
The change to Block acknowledges the company’s growth. Since its start in 2009, the company has added Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975 as businesses, and the name change creates room for further growth. Block is an overarching ecosystem of many businesses united by their purpose of economic empowerment, and serves many people—individuals, artists, fans, developers, and sellers.
“We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs,” said Jack Dorsey, cofounder and CEO of Block.
“Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.”
The name change to Block distinguishes the corporate entity from its businesses, or building blocks. There will be no organizational changes, and Square, Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975 will continue to maintain their respective brands. A foundational workforce, which includes teams such as Counsel, People, and Finance, will continue to help guide the ecosystem at the corporate level. As a result of the name change, Square Crypto, a separate initiative of the company dedicated to advancing Bitcoin, will change its name to Spiral.
The name has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome.
Square, Inc. is referred to as “Block” in this press release. The legal name “Square, Inc.” is expected to be legally changed to “Block, Inc.” on or about December 10, 2021, upon satisfying all applicable legal requirements. The company’s NYSE ticker symbol “SQ” will not change at this time. Any changes in the future will be publicly disclosed. No action is needed from current stockholders. The Company’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on NYSE and the CUSIP will not be changing.
For more information, please visit www.block.xyz or follow company news via Twitter @blocks and @blockIR. For media assets, go to www.block.xyz/mediakit. We intend to use the Block investor relations website as well as the Twitter accounts @blocks and @blockIR as means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD.