Jack Dorsey Quits Twitter to Focus on Bitcoin

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has stepped down from his position at the social media company after serving for over six years. In a tweet he shared to his 5.9 million followers on Monday, Dorsey stated that he had resigned as the CEO of social media giant Twitter, which he assisted co-found in 2006.

He stated that Twitter's board of directors has appointed Parag Agrawal, the company's chief technology officer and board member to replace him. Dorsey announced his decision to step down was based on the approval of Agrawal, by the board, with board member Bret Taylor accepting to serve as the new chair and the opportunities for upward trajectory for other Twitter team members.

Dorsey cited his belief that the tech giant was "ready to move on from its founders." That implies he'll have enough time to focus on Square, the payments firm he also founded and manages, and on his growing fascination with crypto.

Dorsey is a long-time supporter of bitcoin, and has expressed his "passion" for the world's leading crypto due to its quality as "a foundational internet technology not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity."

Dorsey told a crowd at Bitcoin 2021, "If I were not at Square or Twitter, I'd be working on Bitcoin," The mega conference held in Miami in June attracted tens of thousands.

Dorsey's main personal theme is the decentralization of power on the internet. At Twitter, he was at the forefront to fund the BlueSky project which aims to establish openly published standards for social media firms to enable users from multiple social media networks to communicate more easily with one another. Parag Agrawal, the new Twitter CEO has been central to pushing this vision, which recalls how the internet was initially established on top of common standards.

Dorsey has also been advocating for the decentralization of the workplace. Twitter was one of the initial firms to state the option for staffers to work from home following the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, Dorsey had hinted at relocating part-time to Africa to "decentralize work," even though he changed his mind on that plan as the pandemic became more serious.

According to Tom Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, the changing of the guard at Twitter is "bullish for cryptocurrencies."

In an interview on Monday with CNBC's "Tech Check," Lee said, "There isn't enough capital actually allocated toward crypto innovation, so it takes people like Jack Dorsey to really marshal focus."

Square's interest in crypto

With Dorsey now off Twitter, many are eager to see what crypto tasks Square intends to take on next.

The company unveiled Bitcoin trading in 2018 with the Cash App, enabling users to buy and sell Bitcoin. In 2019, the firm established Square Crypto, an independent team committed to contributing to Bitcoin's open-source work. Last year, Square unveiled the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a non-profit organization focused on pooling patents to promote cryptocurrency innovation.

Square announced in July it was establishing a new business committed to creating decentralized finance (DeFi) applications for BTC. Dorsey described the business as "an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services."

In October, Dorsey said the company might join the Bitcoin mining business, and earlier this month the payments firm published a white paper highlighting plans to unveil "tbDEX," its own decentralized exchange for transacting cryptos.

The payments company is also creating its own hardware wallet to "make Bitcoin custody more mainstream."

Square has included Bitcoin on its balance sheet, attributing the decision to an order of values. The organization recorded an equitable value of $351.7 million on its BTC investment by end of Sept. this year.

Amrita Ahuja, Square's Financial Officer said in a statement, "We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future." The statement added, "As it grows in adoption, we intend to learn and participate in a disciplined way. For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey."

Such investments come at an important time for the cryptocurrency industry.

Lee said, "I don't think the space is over-invested yet…Crypto is the intersection of financial services and technology. That's literally 60% of the economy."

December 2nd, 2022

Dorsey's Square rebrands to Block

Just days after Jack Dorsey's resignation as twitter CEO, Square, the fintech giant is rebranding to Block effective December 10. The company has been planning to rename for over a year to enable it to house various products under one brand.

Square rebrands to block

Dorsey said in a press release:

"We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs ... 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 Block aligns with the company's rising interest in crypto and blockchain technology. The current Square Crypto product will also be rebranded to Spiral.

The firm wrote in a tweet, "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."

Square's rebranding also comes just days after Facebook changed its company name to Meta about a month ago, following increased scrutiny in Congress and the press. Still, similar to Square, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg believed that the Facebook brand didn't represent the firm's growth to feature products like Horizon, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Quest.

Square even referenced the timing of this name change in its press release:

"Not to get all meta on you… but we’re going to! 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." ~ Square

Earlier this year, Afterpay agreed to partner with Square. The firm's Cash App also recently expanded to enable teens aged 13 to 17 to subscribe under parental oversight, while Tidal is planning to shift toward direct artist royalty rewards in 2022.

Block will not change its NYSE ticker symbol SQ, and it also announced that there will be no corporate changes following the rebranding.


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