A box that changes the name to block it in Nod to New Business

(Bloomberg) — Square Inc. is changing its company name to Block Inc. , indicating its push beyond the company’s main sales and payments products into businesses such as music, cash transfers and blockchain.

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The company, which was co-founded and managed by crypto enthusiast Jack Dorsey, will continue to be associated with its vendor product, and the new corporate identity will not lead to any regulatory changes. The company’s stock index – SQ – will remain the same.

CEO Dorsey – who resigned from the same position at Twitter Inc. Earlier this week – Square has long been building from a digital payments company into a broader organization with a number of independent business units. In this vein, Square recently acquired Tidal, the music streaming service led by rapper Jay-Z, and started a Bitcoin-focused financial services division called TBD54566975. (The name of that unit was derived from the positive numerology report associated with the number.)

The San Francisco-based company also has Cash App, a consumer and investment payments product, and Square, the original sales and registration service used by small businesses. As the company expands, it has become confusing to have a company name that overlaps with just one of its businesses. It’s the same strategy that Meta Platforms Inc, the social media giant, adopted last month, when it changed its name from Facebook Inc. To expand the focus of its flagship product.

“We’ve built the Square brand for our seller business, where it belongs,” Dorsey said Wednesday in a statement. “Cluster is a new name, but our goal 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.”

The name Block contains a number of inspirations. “Building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, and communities gather in block parties filled with music, blockchain, a chunk of code, and hurdles to overcome,” Square says.

Associating the Block name with blockchain – the decentralized technology behind cryptocurrencies and other digital assets – is sure to make sense to people who follow Dorsey. The CEO is a Bitcoin fanatic, often tweeting about technologies related to cryptocurrency and blockchain. Square Crypto, a project aimed at developing Bitcoin, will now be called Spiral.

Dorsey’s departure from Twitter’s presidency this week has led to speculation that he will focus more of his attention on Square – now Block – and its efforts to transition into new businesses, popularize digital currencies and use blockchain.

In recent months, Dorsey has ramped up Square’s efforts in several areas related to cryptocurrency. In October, he tweeted that Square was considering creating a dedicated silicon-based bitcoin mining system that could be used by people and businesses around the world.

In November, Square published a white paper describing plans for a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange for trading bitcoin, fiat money, or goods in the real world.

(Updates to add details about Square’s encryption efforts in paragraphs 9 and 10.)

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