Square is rebranding itself as 'Block'

The blockchain made the company do it.

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A Sticky Rice Lao Street Food employee processes a Square credit card reader in Little Saigon, Orlando, Florida. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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Payments firm Square plans to change its name to Block as cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies become a bigger part of its business. On Wednesday, the company announced it will move forward with the rebranding on December 10th.

“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,” the company said in a blog post.

When Jack Dorsey co-founded Square in 2009 shortly after his first stint as CEO of Twitter, the company’s only product was its namesake card reader, which allowed merchants to process credit card payments with their phones. Since then, its business has expanded to include stock and crypto trading, money lending and more. This year, Square even bought a majority stake in Tidal. And it’s that expansion from that the rebranding is designed to encapsulate.

“We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs,” Dorsey said. “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.”

The move comes in the same week that Dorsey stepped down as the CEO of Twitter. Since 2015, he had led both Twitter and Square, a position that eventually led to pressure from activist investment firm Elliott Management. In a lot of ways, the rebranding is also reflective of Dorsey’s well-known enthusiasm for cryptocurrency. After all, this is the man who wanted the world to know he has a Bitcoin clock in his kitchen. He recently announced Square would build a Bitcoin hardware wallet, and “consider” a mining system.

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