Goodbye, Square. Hello, Block

Payments company headed up by Jack Dorsey gets a name change
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2021 7:59 AM CST
Goodbye, Square. Hello, Block
A New York doctor poses for a picture with his Square credit card reader at his office on Jan. 5, 2015.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

It's been a big week for Jack Dorsey, who announced he's stepping down as CEO of Twitter because "the company is ready to move on from its founders." Now, news on the other firm he heads up, the financial services and payments company Square Inc.: It's changing its name to Block, which Reuters notes is a nod to its efforts to move into new payment alternatives, such as the blockchain transactions ledger that underlies cybercurrencies. The new name will come into effect on Dec. 10, though there are no plans at the moment to change the "SQ" ticker on the New York Stock Exchange.

"The change to Block acknowledges the company's growth," a press release cited by the Verge notes, adding there will be no organizational changes. "The name has many associated meanings for the company—building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome." Dorsey notes in the release that, despite the name shift, "our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same."

Small-business owners who use the payment service's tiny credit-card readers and have become accustomed to the Square name don't have to fret. Much like Facebook kept its name when its parent company transitioned to the Meta moniker, the seller brand Square will retain its name, as will other business units such as music streaming service Tidal, peer-to-peer payment service Cash App, and the TBD54566975 bitcoin-based financial service. (More Square stories.)

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