Why Is Square Rebranding and Changing Its Name to Block?
Former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has been making headlines given all the impending changes surrounding him.
Not only in announcing he will be stepping down as CEO but the financial services application he set up in 2009, Square will undergo a rebranding, starting with a name change to Block.
What was once known as Square has undergone massive changes in the last decade and will continue to do so, except now it’s a revamped application aligning itself with blockchain.
Although the name of the application has changed, the ethos of what Square was and Block will be, is the same: to provide economic empowerment.
Why is Square changing its name to Block?
Square started with humble beginnings with its card reader product whereby merchants process payments through their cellphones. While the financial services began with a limited utility to consumers and merchants, it was innovative enough to continue developing into other features.
These features include crypto and stock trading, along with money lending. More than these features, Square also double-down and purchased a substantially large stake in the music streaming platform, Tidal. The purchase was worth an estimate of $297 million in cash and stock.
When will Square’s name change go into effect?
The full rebranding will commence starting on December 10th, 2021, but the company’s New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ticker for Square (SQ) will not change at this time whereby stockholders need not take action.
Despite announcing its rebranding, the company will not undergo any organizational changes, and its entities, CashApp, Tidal, Square, and TBD54566975 will keep up with their respective brands.
However, since announcing the name change, Square Crypto, a separate initiative focused on developing advancements for Bitcoin, will also change its name and be known as Spiral.
Although the company and its initiatives encounter a face lift, Dorsey is adamant in expressing that “No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.”
Tech guru Jack Dorsey moves on from his helm over Twitter
The mercurial Twitter co-founder and now former CEO is pivoting away from the position to focus on his multiple other ventures, which have been folded together under a parent company called Block.
“Not sure anyone has heard” Jack Dorsey abruptly tweeted on Nov. 29 “but, I resigned from Twitter.”
Dorsey, the idiosyncratic, 45-year-old tech entrepreneur was the face of Twitter, a company he co-founded in 2006 with Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass. During the social media platform’s genesis, he was appointed CEO but was subsequently pushed out of the position in 2008 and Williams took over the role. Dorsey moved over as chairman of the board (according to Nick Bilton‘s book, “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal,” Dorsey was pressured off of the job in a response to him regularly leaving the office to do yoga and try his hand as a fashion designer). Dorsey, though, fell back into the CEO gig in 2015.
In his resignation on Monday, he stated: “I’ve worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders,” He added: “I believe it’s critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder’s influence or direction.”
“There aren’t many companies that get to this level. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego,” Dorsey went on to maintain.
Seemingly, though, the real reason for the departure is that Dorsey wants to focus on his payment company Square and other ventures — and his current main passion — Bitcoin. (At a conference this year, he said: “for me, bitcoin changes absolutely everything”). And on Wednesday, Dorsey announced that Square was being rebranded as Block — which he said will now be a “corporate entity.”
Now That Square is Block, Will Jack Dorsey’s Company Make it Easier to Buy Dinner With Bitcoin?
Here’s what we know: On Monday, Jack Dorsey announced he’s stepping down immediately from the top job at Twitter. On Wednesday, his payments company Square said it would change its name to Block and would, among other things, double down on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and building a decentralized payment system. I haven’t checked the news today, but I’m guessing he may have announced he’s creating a robot society or has plans for a teleportation system.
What does it all mean (besides the robots and teleportation)? For one, Jack Dorsey has had a busy week. But it also means the same guy who helped usher in real-time social media and democratize digital payments for small businesses may now be the one who helps make it easier for average Joe to buy everyday things with cryptocurrency.
Because right now, it isn’t easy. Crypto isn’t nearly as liquid as other conventional payment methods such as cash or credit. Sure, you can trade crypto without any problem – anyone with a Coinbase or Robinhood account knows that – but good luck paying for a bottle of mouthwash or buying a Big Mac with that wad of Dogecoin burning a hole in your crypto wallet.
So what can Dorsey do about it? Simple: with Square Block, he has all the different parts to make a payment value chain for crypto that will take it from what is mainly a highly volatile investment vehicle today to a street-spendable retail currency of tomorrow.
So what are Block’s business units?:
Square – the company’s original product (which will retain the Square brand) covers the digital payment portion of the equation. The company sells retail point-of-sale systems and has created restaurant-specific platforms and services.
Cash App – Started as Square Cash in 2015, Cash App is a personal banking, money transfer, and investment app for consumers. The app added crypto trading in 2018.
TBD – Announced earlier this year, TBD (long name TBD54566975) is a decentralized financial services unit. The launch of TBD followed other crypto-centric moves by the company such as creating a Bitcoin hardware wallet.
And perhaps most importantly, Dorsey and Block have the passion and conviction that cryptocurrency is the future and will eventually become our everyday currency. The company so much as said so when it began to buy and hold Bitcoin last year. “We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future,” said Square’s Chief Financial Officer, Amrita Ahuja, at the time.
Square Changes Name to Block. Is Jack Dorsey All In on Crypto?
Only days after resigning as CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey reinforced his position as CEO of payment platform Square with Wednesday’s announcement that Square will change its corporate name to “Block.” Additionally, its cryptocurrency division — Square Crypto — will be renamed “Spiral” — both changes are scheduled to occur next week on Dec. 10.
Why the name change?
“We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs,” stated Dorsey in the company press release. “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.”
Much like other tech name changes before it — Google to Alphabet; Facebook to Meta — Block will be an umbrella brand that covers a diverse group of acquired assets that includes TIDAL, TBD54566975 (the non-name for its planned decentralized exchange for Bitcoin), Cash App, and Square.
The Block statement went on to note that the new 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.”
Dorsey is all in on Bitcoin
This is another proof point that Dorsey is going all in on crypto and Bitcoin. If that wasn’t clear, just look at the one-word description on his Twitter profile: #Bitcoin.
For years, he has been an ardent and vocal supporter of Bitcoin, making public statements that he believes it can establish economic equality around the world, be a catalyst for world peace, and be the single global currency. Dorsey has also said that if he wasn’t CEO of both Twitter and Square/Block, that he would be working on Bitcoin. It seems, he’s also putting that rhetoric into action, as he recently laid the groundwork and issued a white paper for Square to launch its own decentralized exchange for Bitcoin trading and enabled Bitcoin payments via Square/Block’s Cash App since 2018.
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Square (financial services company)
Square, Inc. is an American financial services and digital payments company based in San Francisco, California.
The company was founded in 2009 by Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey and launched its first platform in 2010.
It has been traded as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange since November 2015 with the ticker symbol SQ.
The company announced it would rebrand as Block on 1 December 2021, with the change set to occur on 10 December 2021.
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Jack Dorsey is going all in on crypto and Bitcoin.