Twitter Inc. (TWTR) co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is a cryptocurrency believer. “The internet deserves its own native currency,” he declared at the recently concluded Consensus conference in New York. “It will have a native currency. I don’t know if it will be bitcoin or not. I hope it is.” (See also: Bitcoin Will Become World’s Single Currency: Dorsey.)
Back in 2014, Dorsey’s other company, Square Inc. (SQ), was among the first companies to integrate bitcoin onto its platform, which enables small businesses to accept credit cards. Square Cash, the company’s money transfer app, introduced functionality for customers to buy or sell bitcoin on its platform.
At the conference, Dorsey said that his company’s move to integrate bitcoin in both instances was contentious and generated much debate within the company. But Square’s company culture is geared toward action. “We can’t just wait for things to happen to us. We have to make them happen,” he said.
Square’s enthusiasm for bitcoin is good for its bottom line. According to a recently released note from Nomura Instinet, app downloads for the Square Cash app have received a boost after it announced bitcoin integration onto its platform. “With Square Cash App now open for Bitcoin trading in most states, comparing its growth versus the popular Coinbase app is noteworth,” wrote Dan Dolev, executive director at the firm. “Here, while Coinbase saw growth peak around the holiday time—as Bitcoin prices spiked—Coinbase’s growth has slowed from record levels, whereas Square Cash App experienced more balanced growth.” (See also: 4 Reasons Square’s Gains Can Multiply: Jefferies.)
An Early Education In Bitcoin
Dorsey’s education in the technologies underpinning bitcoin began during his days in college in St. Louis, where he became a member of bulletin board services for “cypherpunks.” “I wasn’t good at it at all but really appreciated it,” he said. When the bitcoin white paper was released in 2008, Dorsey appreciated its conciseness and simplicity but didn’t understand its full implications.
But his beliefs have evolved since then. He said Square is focused on making bitcoin a medium for daily transaction. Users on the company’s platform are mostly HODLers, or traders who are holding onto bitcoin for future price appreciation. “But there’s a desire for more,” said Dorsey, adding that users were interested in “pure spending” tasks as opposed to savings.
To that end, the company has defined its role as that of an educator for regulators and general public. “Our role is to educate why this technology advances all of us and what the responsible way to use it is,” he said.
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