FYI: ‘Square’ Is Now ‘Block,’ Jack Dorsey Is Now Fully a Crypto Laser Eyes Guy

Jack Dorsey is no longer the Twitter guy and is now building a cryptocurrency empire instead.
December 1, 2021, 10:08pm
GettyImages-1236804471
Image: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A day after Jack Dorsey announced he was resigning from Twitter, he has used his laser eyes to change the name of his payment processing company "Square" to "Block," which is both a square-type shape (not all Squares are Blocks, not all Blocks are Squares, some Blocks are made of Squares, no Squares are made of Blocks, etc) and a reference to the blockchain, of which Dorsey is a big fan and evangelist. 

Advertisement

When Dorsey announced he was stepping down Twitter, many guessed that some sort of cryptocurrency move would soon follow, because Dorsey has increasingly spoken about how bullish he is on the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency more broadly. Both Twitter and Square have been adding Bitcoin integration over the last few months.

"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," the company said in a press release announcing the change. Dorsey said in a statement that “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.”

Square is essentially trying to do a pivot akin to what Google has done with Alphabet and Facebook is doing with Meta—keeping its core business but pivoting to something else, while operating a broad ecosystem of various entities under a broader umbrella. In this case, Dorsey is trying to create a crypto wonderland under the name "Block," and he is seemingly trying to become one of the world's preeminent Bitcoin and crypto guys.

Block's holdings include Square and Cash App, which both have cryptocurrency integration, and Spiral, which is a Bitcoin-specific entity (formerly known as Square Crypto) that posits "Bitcoin is the best money. It should be used like it. We build and fund free, open-source projects aimed at making Bitcoin the planet’s preferred currency." Spiral announced in a blog post Wednesday that it would fund Bitcoin-centric projects, work on Bitcoin protocols, and is hiring Bitcoin engineers.

Block also has something called TBD54566975 (really), which is working on "tbDEX," a "Liquidity Protocol" that "aims to create ubiquitous and accessible on-ramps and off-ramps that allow the average individual to benefit from crypto innovation." Its Twitter account's profile simply states "#Bitcoin." 

Dorsey has fashioned himself as a kind of blockchain warrior-monk over the years, even going so far as to say Bitcoin would lead to world peace while wearing tie-dye at a Bitcoin-themed streaming event. Among Bitcoin fans he's a near-deity, the rare Big Tech person who understands and appreciates not just the technology but its ideological mission. When he announced he left Twitter, many crypto enthusiasts momentarily panicked and worried that, without Dorsey at the helm, the site may crack down on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. (His replacement, CTO Parag Agrawal, leads the company's blockchain teams, so there's little real concern there.)

Now, it looks like Dorsey is dedicating himself to cryptocurrency even more fully, using his wealth and status to convince the rest of us to buy Bitcoin.