Payments Processor Square is Building Out a New Team for Crypto
Jack Dorsey, the dual CEO of Twitter and Square, announced last month that Square will hire a new team of crypto engineers and a designer to contribute to the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
In a series of tweets, he outlined that the new “Square Crypto” team would be “Square’s first open source initiative independent of our business objectives. These folks will focus entirely on what’s best for the crypto community and individual economic empowerment, not on Square’s commercial interests. All resulting work will be open and free.”
Founded in February 2009, Square’s first product was a small, square-shaped device that could turn any smartphone into a merchant credit card processing machine. It’s since grown to a $30 billion market cap with a number of payment-processing & point of sale products, and expansions into small business loans and payroll software.
Square CEO Dorsey has previously expressed a strong belief in the potential of cryptocurrency, telling the The Times of London in March 2018:
“The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin … probably over ten years, but it could go faster.”
In 2017, Square filed for a patent (approved in late 2018) for a new kind of payment service capable of accepting cryptocurrencies and processing them at speeds comparable to today’s credit cards.
On the consumer side, their mobile app Cash App, which includes the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin, has overtaken Venmo and PayPal as the most downloaded finance app in the App Store. Cash App boasted more than 7 million active users as of December 2017. By Q2 2018, Cash App had more than $37 million in cryptocurrency revenue, 6% of the company’s total.
“Jack Dorsey Understands Bitcoin”
Dorsey’s announcement of the Square Crypto team has received plenty of praise from #CryptoTwitter. Tuur Demeester, Founder of crypto hedge fund Adamant Capital, tweeted:
Chief Strategy Officer of CoinShares, Meltem Demirors, also praised the move:
Currently the Square Crypto team exists only as a twitter account while they review interested applicants, tweeting a mix of in-crowd jokes, reinforcement of project goals, and gathering feedback along the way.
We’ll stay tuned for further updates; a team supported by a $30B payments processor and the co-founder of one of the world’s largest social media platforms seems likely to have a significant impact, whatever they work on.