Prepared by: Ahmed Al-Bashir
When he stepped on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, Jack Dorsey was technically still the CEO of two public companies, but he looked more like a beach waiter, in a colorful shirt, shaving his head and his long gray uncut beard. Dorsey had a lot to say about bitcoin, and much more than he would have had to say about Twitter or Square, his payment services company. Dorsey predicted that bitcoin would replace banks, while providing economic opportunities for entrepreneurs in the developing world and encouraging investment in renewable energy. He has stated that Bitcoin will change absolutely everything, and he does not believe that there is anything in his life that is more important than that.
Five months later, Dorsey resigned from his post on Twitter and announced that he was joining Square Inc. will be renamed Block INC, a name that brings to mind the key technology behind cryptocurrencies, blockchain. “Block” is Dorsey’s main concern, with its focus on Bitcoin.
Over the past two years, Dorsey has become the unofficial spiritual leader and public defender of Bitcoin, constantly promoting it through his tweets and criticizing technology capitalists who fund competitive projects.
Last year, during a conference on cryptocurrencies attended by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Dorsey said he believes Bitcoin can bring world peace.
Dorsey’s enthusiasm has implications for Block, which has grown in part thanks to a feature that makes it easy for ordinary people to buy bitcoin from their phones, and which also spent $ 220 million to buy the cryptocurrency to put it on its balance sheet.
The best way to understand what Dorsey is thinking at any given moment is to follow his tweets, this is where he posts everything, including the music he listens to and the social issues he cares about.
As a result, Dorsey’s interest in bitcoin increased after a month-long trip to Africa in November 2019, after which he incessantly started tweeting about the currency. The trip included visits to countries such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. There, he met local entrepreneurs, many of whom built bitcoin-focused companies. This fact “surprised” and “inspired” him, and he returned home convinced that Bitcoin could transform the continent’s financial systems. Dorsey tweeted from an airport in Addis Ababa just before boarding his flight, “It’s sad to leave the continent. For now, Africa will determine the future, especially for Bitcoin.”
Dorsey’s fans see his obsession with Bitcoin from a similar perspective. “I will always pay attention to whatever Jack predicts for the future, and he is often more right than wrong,” says Jackie Reese, who led Square’s banking and lending business and is now working on her fintech business. The newly renamed Block Corporation has integrated bitcoin into almost every unit of its business. The company’s internal TBD division builds technology to convert dollars into bitcoin, and there is a separate project called Spiral, which supports and finances projects aimed at improving and promoting the use of bitcoin.
“We believe that Bitcoin has the potential to become a more popular currency in the future,” said Amrita Ahuja, Block’s chief financial officer, adding that while the presence of cryptocurrencies is growing, this investment is a step in that direction. travel is. Such investments come at a critical time for the crypto industry, as Ahuja stresses that she does not believe this space has been invested enough, saying: “Crypto is the intersection of financial services and technology, and it represents literally 60% of the economy. ”
In early 2021, Dorsey agreed to pay $ 300 million to acquire Tidal, Jay-Z’s music streaming service, and later that year, $ 29 billion was spent on Afterpay, a purchasing and payment services company. In 2020, Block obtained a license to provide loans to small businesses. Dorsey believes that Bitcoin will eventually be used more widely over the Internet, so it is only natural that Block will try to strengthen its position in the cryptocurrency world. It is extremely important that Dorsey does not make many investments in competing cryptocurrencies or in the so-called “Web 3” technologies used in blockchain to power decentralized web services. And some of Dorsey’s peers, including venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, are big fans of Web3 and are pouring tens of billions of dollars into the emerging market.
Prepared by: Ahmed Al-Bashir