Square Puts 1% of Total Assets in Bitcoin in Surprise $50M Investment

Jack Dorsey's payments company is the second publicly traded firm to put some portion of corporate reserves into bitcoin, following MicroStrategy's $425 million all-in bet.

Oct 8, 2020 at 1:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:06 a.m. UTC

Square, the payments company helmed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, announced Thursday it has purchased 4,709 bitcoins, a $50 million investment representing 1% of the firm's total assets.

  • "Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company's purpose," the company said in a statement.
  • "We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future," said Square CFO Amrita Ahuja. "For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey."
  • Bitcoin's price jumped 2.5% following the announcement, while shares in Square popped around 1%.
  • Characterized by Square as a mission-driven investment, Square's $50 million buy comes amid Dorsey's very public spat over corporate responsibility with another crypto-friendly CEO, Coinbase's Brian Armstrong.
  • Dorsey chided Armstrong last week for discouraging his employees from engaging in activism in the workplace. Armstrong said it was a corporate imperative; Dorsey framed it as hypocritical.
  • "Bitcoin (aka 'crypto') is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society," Dorsey tweeted in response to Armstrong's blog post.
  • Square is also now the second technology firm to go long on bitcoin in recent months after MicroStrategy, a business intelligence firm, crowned the crypto as its treasury reserve asset of choice.
  • MicroStrategy invested $425 million into bitcoin, according to a series of disclosures that pumped the stock's value and revealed its CEO, Michael Saylor, to be an unexpectedly vocal bitcoin maximalist.
  • But Square's bitcoin investment is far more in line with its corporate identity and business services than was the case for MicroStrategy.
  • Square's Cash App is a critical bitcoin entry point for many retail investors. It has become a major revenue driver for the publicly traded fintech.

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