Payments Giant Square Is Changing Its Name to Block

The move creates room for the company to move further beyond its roots as a business focused on serving sellers.

Dec 1, 2021 at 10:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 2, 2021 at 5:55 p.m. UTC

Fintech and digital payments giant Square Inc. has changed its name to Block in a move that reflects changes to its business, the company said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon ET.

  • ”The Square name has become synonymous with the company’s Seller business ... and this move allows the Seller business to own the Square brand it was built for,” the company wrote.
  • The change to Block “acknowledges the company’s growth,” the company wrote, noting that since its founding in 2009 the firm has added mobile payment service Cash App, streaming music service TIDAL and bitcoin-focused, open developer platform TBD54566975. In terms of crypto, Square is also in the process of building a hardware wallet and is considering creating a bitcoin mining service.
  • “The name change creates room for further growth,” the company concluded. “Block is an overarching ecosystem of many businesses united by their purpose of economic empowerment, and serves many people – individuals, artists, fans, developers and sellers.”
  • The company said “Block” has many associated meanings, including building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, and blockchain.
  • There will be no organizational changes as a result of the name change, although Square Crypto, a separate project of the company dedicated to advancing bitcoin, of which Square CEO Jack Dorsey is a big fan, will change its name to Spiral.
  • A legal change is expected to occur on Dec. 10, and the company’s stock ticker on the NYSE will remain as SQ.
  • The announcement comes just two days after Dorsey told investors he would be stepping down as the CEO of Twitter, though he will remain on Twitter’s board of directors until his term expires in the middle of 2022. Dorsey’s move has prompted some speculation that he would be focusing more of his efforts on bitcoin, either at Square or on his own.
  • In after-hours trading on Wednesday, Square was rising almost 1% after falling 6.6% during the day’s session.

UPDATE (Dec. 1, 22:27 UTC): Adds details in second and fourth bullet points, and information about Square’s trading on Wednesday.

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Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.

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