Payments company Square, owned by founder and former CEO of Twitter has announced that it is changing its corporate name from Square to Block. The reason for the name change is quite similar to that of Facebook’s name change to Meta, as Square is expanding its business beyond its original credit card-reader business to focus on technologies such as blockchain which its founder seems to be crazy about.
According to the company’s announcement, the name change takes effect starting December 10. The company will, however, continue to trade under the ticker name “SQ” on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The name change “acknowledges the company’s growth… and…creates room for further growth”, the company said in its announcement.
In a statement speaking about the decision, Square’s founder Jack Dorsey said that “We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs. 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.”
Recently Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta explaining that the new name better reflects the company’s ambitions beyond social media; the new name encompasses the company’s drive into futuristic tech and other businesses that surpass the social media business that it started with. Like Meta, Square’s new name would reflect the company’s expansion beyond its card-reader business into technologies like blockchain. In fact, the name Block is said to come from blockchain.
On Monday this week, Square and Twitter’s Founder announced his decision to step down from the position of CEO, announcing Parag Agrawal as his replacement. “I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders”, he said. He stepped down from his role as Twitter’s CEO to focus on Square and his drive for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In June while speaking at the Bitcoin 2021 conference, Jack Dorsey said that “If I were not at Square or Twitter, I’d be working on Bitcoin”.
Founded in 2009, Square focuses on in-person payments and its card reader business and is one of the biggest digital payment platforms in the world. The company owns AfterPay, a buy-now-pay-later service as well as music streaming service Tidal founded by music magnate Jay-Z. It also has a crypto-focused business called TBD.
As part of the change, Square Crypto, a separate part of the company dedicated to crypto will be changing its name to Spiral, the company announced. The name Block “has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighbourhood 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 its statement.