Digital Payments Firm Square Changes Corporate Name To 'Block'

Digital payments giant Square (NYSE:SQ) has announced that it is renaming itself "Block" as it focuses more on technologies such as blockchain and pushes further into cryptocurrencies.

Founded by Jack Dorsey in 2009 as a credit card-reader business, the financial technology (fintech) company said that its new name will go into effect on December 10. Block will still trade under the ticker symbol "SQ" on the New York Stock Exchange.

"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," Dorsey said in a news release.

In recent years, San Francisco-based Square has added a peer-to-peer digital banking app and small business lending, received a bank charter and begun offering cryptocurrency and stock trading on its platform.

The company has also acquired buy-now-pay-later provider Afterpay and Jay-Z’s music streaming service Tidal. It’s also doubling down on Bitcoin with a cryptocurrency focused business called TBD.

As part of the Square rebrand, Square Crypto, a separate part of the company "dedicated to advancing Bitcoin," will change its name to Spiral.

Earlier this week, Dorsey stepped down from his other job as chief executive officer of Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) after running both Twitter and Square since 2015. He said he believes Twitter is "ready to move on from its founders" and he will now have more time to dedicate to Square’s growth.

But Dorsey is also expected to focus on his passion for cryptocurrency.

Square’s name change comes roughly a month after Facebook changed its name to "Meta" to reflect CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to build a virtual world called the metaverse. Google famously renamed itself Alphabet six years ago in a similar move to reflect other lines of business.

Square was one of the biggest winners of 2020 as consumers shifted to digital payments. However, shares are down 12% so far this year as investors rotate away from higher-growth technology names.