When Jack Dorsey speaks, people tend to listen. He is presently the CEO of both Twitter and Square, Inc., a payments processing company, owning roughly a third and a sixth of each publicly traded firm, respectively. In other words, Mr. Dorsey is not concerned with the daily financial imperative that grips the rest of us. He has time to think, and he likes the realm of cryptocurrencies, too, especially Bitcoin. While many others have chosen to bash cryptos after Crypto Winter, he sees the future quite differently.
In an interview with Joe Rogan of Forbes, Dorsey candidly shared his opinion that the Internet one day will have its own cryptocurrency. He did not suggest that it would be Bitcoin, but it would not surprise him.
Dorsey explained: “I believe the Internet will have a native currency, and I don’t know if it’s Bitcoin. I think it will be [Bitcoin] given all the tests it has been through and the principles behind it, how it was created. It was something that was born on the Internet, was developed on the Internet, was tested on the Internet, [and] it is of the Internet.”
News last year was that Facebook, another social media giant, had formed a “Tiger Team’ of blockchain developers that was looking for ways to leverage its 2 billion-plus customer base. The news on the street was that FB might create its own cryptocurrency. Does Mr. Dorsey have any such aspirations? The 42-year old CEO expressed having “reluctance” going down a similar path, but he and his team are very interested in the technology. They have chosen to use the CashApp project to support those aims.
Square, Inc., owns CashApp, a mobile payments service for both merchant and peer-to-peer payments and a launch pad for other services, like buying and trading Bitcoin, a service that began a year ago. CashApp, originally “Square Cash”, was introduced in early 2015, and it has in three short years become the second most popular Apple application. Dorsey and his team went through a discovery period, searching for what made the most sense going forward: “It made us uncomfortable, we had to really know what’s going on and that was critical and important.”
He elaborated: “We notice that people are treating it [Bitcoin] as an asset, like a virtual gold. We want to make it easy, just the simplest way to buy and sell Bitcoin. But we also knew that it had to come with a lot of educations, a lot of constraints.” The constraints had to do with what he called “unhealthy”. After a bit of deliberation, he made changes: “You can’t buy Bitcoin on CashApp with a credit card. It has to be the money you actually have in it. We look for day trading which we discouraged and shut down, that’s not what we’re trying to build, that’s not what we’re trying to optimize.”
Dorsey was also proud of the fact that his company is the first publicly traded entity that has chosen to offer crypto purchasing, Bitcoin for the moment, as a service. By necessity, he is in discussion with the SEC to ensure there are no missteps.
Asked how Square, Inc., was able to grow so quickly, Dorsey noted that the firm was all about convenience for merchants, especially small merchants that needed mobile on-the-go support: “It targeted a niche market in merchants without access to point-of-sale (PoS) terminals and credit card payments.” After a single decade, Square now processes over $29 billion in digital payments and is the go-to app for peer-to-peer payments, as well. Coincidentally enough, the present market cap of Square, Inc., is roughly $29 billion, having nearly doubled since late 2017. If you do the math, Mr. Dorsey is a billionaire, without even taking into account his Twitter ownership.
Returning once more to the future, Dorsey concluded: “We’d love to see something become global currency. It enables more access, it allows us to serve more people and allows us to move faster around the world.”