Jack Dorsey stepped down from his position as Twitter CEO last week, sparking speculation the crypto enthusiast would now dedicate himself entirely to Bitcoin (BTC).
A letter from the well-known Twitter co-founder set out the reasons behind his decision. He said he thought being a “founder-lead” company was limiting as it presented a single point of failure. Dorsey explained Twitter has a strong new CEO in Parag Agrawal and a great team in place. As a result, he believes now is the right time for him to move on.
But move on to what? That’s the question on many people’s lips, particularly as Dorsey told Bitcoin Miami in June that, “If I were not at Square or Twitter I’d be working on Bitcoin. If it needed more help than Square and Twitter, I would leave them for Bitcoin.”
And, just days after the announcement, Square, the other company Dorsey leads, said it would change its name to Block to better reflect the company’s activities.
Square — now Block — and Bitcoin
Block is a payment and commerce solution provider, which encompasses several individual businesses. You’ll notice a number of them have direct or indirect connection to Bitcoin, which makes the new name pretty appropriate.
- Square: focuses on payment solutions for merchants
- Cash App: a digital wallet and mobile money transfer service
- Spiral: supports Bitcoin development
- Tidal: a music streaming platform
- TBD54566975: a platform for decentralized Bitcoin exchanges
Dorsey’s passion for Bitcoin and decentralization means Block has already made big strides in crypto. Here are some key points on Square’s crypto journey:
January, 2018: CashApp allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin
March, 2019: Forms Square Crypto (now Spiral),
September, 2020: Square forms Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a patent-focused non-profit
October, 2020: Square became one of the first public companies to own Bitcoin
July, 2021: Square creates unit to focus on Bitcoin, called TBD
October, 2021: Square says it is considering Bitcoin mining
November, 2021: Square releases whitepaper for tbDEX, a new decentralized protocol
Dorsey’s a Bitcoin maximalist
Bitcoin maximalists are people who would choose the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies over all others. Dorsey, for example, thinks Bitcoin could be the future currency of the internet and that it could address some of the inequalities in the current financial system.
While Dorsey has said he would never buy Ethereum, he also says he doesn’t hate the second-biggest coin. It’s just that he’s a lot more focused on Bitcoin and that’s where he wants to spend his energy.
This does mean that most of Square’s cryptocurrency projects are Bitcoin-orientated. The challenge here is that Bitcoin is not as fast as other cryptos, and does not have the same functionality.
Dorsey’s been pushing the layer 2 Lightning Network as a solution. Layer 2s are protocols that sit on top of the original blockchain and improve its performance. The Lightning Network should reduce fees and improve processing times, but critics say it isn’t perfect.
What does this mean for crypto investors?
Ultimately, the more great minds that move into the cryptocurrency world, the better. Cryptocurrency is still a relatively new and untested market and has a long way to go before it reaches mainstream adoption.
The more people like Jack Dorsey who are willing to put their time and effort into realizing cryptocurrency’s potential, the more likely we are to one day see crypto reaching its full potential in terms of mainstream adoption and usage.
But don’t open a crypto exchange account and rush into crypto just because Jack Dorsey’s involved. Do your own research and make sure you are comfortable with the inherent risks. It would also be good to understand the basics of blockchain technology before you buy.