Tech&Innovation

From Square to Block

What is Square?

Square is a digital payment company started in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey that effectively combines merchant services with mobile payments. Its seen in many small business stores that use it’s system for credit card payments, keeping track of inventory, and much more. Square is also the parent company to CashApp, a money transfer mobile app, and Square Point-Of-Sale, a free app that lets merchants process mobile payments. Square also has physical products, such as the Square Stand which allows iPads to be used as a credit-card reader and cash register all in one. 

What’s Block?

Recently, Jack Dorsey announced that Square would transition into Block. The main reason behind this change is that “The change to Block acknowledges the company’s growth”, stated the company in a press release. This acknowledges the fact that Square has expanded its services to beyond just the financial domain, taking a majority stake in Tidal – a music streaming service – and having many children businesses, such as Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975. While there are no planned organizational changes, many name changes are taking place, such as Square’s Crypto initiative being rebranded to Spiral. ‘Block’ will officially go into effect around December 10th, but its ticker symbol SQ will not change. 

Why all the rebranding?

This name change comes at a time when other tech companies, such as Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, also are taking similar steps. The company tweeted: “Not to get all meta on you … but we’re going to”, a funny gesture nodding to Facebook’s rebranding. While there is no official pattern between tech companies rebranding throughout the pandemic, Jack Dorsey may be rebranding Square in order to prepare for a Web3 future. Dorsey is well versed in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space and could well be preparing to release a decentralized app for Block. ‘Block’ is a reference to ‘blockchain’, one of Dorsey’s many interests. By keeping Block’s future very broad and saying it hopes to expand to many domains, this rebranding could suggest that Block will be a leader in the blockchain space and potentially having that be the company’s main focus.

Sources:

https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2021/12/1/22812752/square-changing-name-block-jack-dorsey-cash-app-tidal-crypto-spiral

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-59505516

Categories: Tech&Innovation