Square changes name to Block in nod to new businesses – Los Angeles Times

Square Inc. is changing its corporate name to Block Inc., signaling a push beyond the company’s main sales and payments products into businesses such as music, cash transfers and the blockchain.
The company, co-founded and run by cryptocurrency enthusiast Jack Dorsey, will continue to call its seller product Square, and the new corporate identity won’t lead to any organizational changes. The company’s stock ticker — SQ — will also stay the same.
Chief Executive Dorsey — who resigned from the same role at Twitter Inc. this week — has long wanted to build Square from a digital-payments company into a broader organization with a number of standalone business units. In that vein, Square recently acquired Tidal, the music streaming service led by rapper Jay-Z, and started a financial services division focused on bitcoin called TBD54566975. (That unit’s name was derived from a positive numerology report linked to the number.)
Square to buy Jay-Z’s music service Tidal and appoint him to its board
Square Inc. will pay $297 million in cash and stock to acquire a majority stake in Tidal, the streaming music service led by rapper Jay-Z.

The San Francisco company also owns Cash App, a consumer payments and investing product, and Square, its original sales and register service used by small businesses. As the company expanded, it became confusing to have a corporate name that overlapped with just one of its businesses. It’s the same strategy that social media giant Meta Platforms Inc. adopted last month, when it changed its name from Facebook Inc. to widen the focus from its flagship product.
“We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs,” Dorsey said Wednesday in a statement. “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 name Block has a number of inspirations. “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,” Square’s statement says.
Linking the name Block to blockchain — the decentralized technology underlying cryptocurrencies and other digital assets — will certainly make sense to people who follow Dorsey. The CEO is a bitcoin fanatic and often tweets about the cryptocurrency and blockchain-related technologies. Square Crypto, a project aimed at advancing bitcoin, will now be called Spiral.
Dorsey’s departure from the helm of Twitter this week led to speculation that he would be focusing more of his attention on Square — now Block — and its effort to move into new businesses and popularize digital currencies and use of the blockchain.
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