Twitter cofounder and chief executive Jack Dorsey is one of the biggest bitcoin cheerleaders in Silicon Valley—Dorsey “loves” bitcoin.
The bitcoin and cryptocurrency community was worried by news last week the powerful Wall Street activist investor Elliott Management has bought $1 billion worth of Twitter stock and is working to oust Dorsey from the company he helped build.
However, while bitcoin fans might cheer Twitter’s recent addition of a bitcoin emoji, Dorsey could do much for bitcoin and crypto without having to worry about running one of the world’s biggest social media sites.
Jack Dorsey runs both the micro-blogging platform Twitter and payments company Square. Square has … [+]
PA Images via Getty Images
The New York-based hedge fund Elliott Management is led by Republican-supporting billionaire Paul Singer, who once described bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as “one of the most brilliant scams in history.”
But if Singer gets his way at Twitter it’s unlikely the bitcoin and crypto industry would be significantly effected—Elliott Management is far more concerned with Twitter’s share price performance, how it deals with major world events like the spread of the coronavirus and the up-coming U.S. election, and ongoing accusations of political bias at the company.
Meanwhile, Dorsey would be free to commit his time and considerable resources to the other company he leads: the payments giant Square—along with its newly created cryptocurrency division and its bitcoin-buying sensation Cash App.
Square’s Cash App garnered almost half its revenue from bitcoin in the last quarter of 2019, earning bitcoin revenue of $178 million between the start of October and the end of December, with gross profits of $3 million, up 50% over the prior two quarters.
Meanwhile, Square Crypto, the bitcoin development unit of Square, this week awarded grants to two bitcoin developers, allowing them to work full-time on open-source projects that benefit the bitcoin network.
In January, Square Crypto released a Lightning Development Kit to aid the growth of bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a second-layer technology that could help bitcoin scale by enabling small payments to happen away from bitcoin’s blockchain.
“Square Crypto is focusing on Lightning,” Dorsey said via Twitter.
Dorsey attracted criticism from Twitter and Square investors last year when he promised to spend from three to six months in Africa to explore cryptocurrency opportunities in 2020.
“Sad to be leaving [Africa]… for now,” Dorsey said via Twitter. “Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid-2020.”
Interest in bitcoin and crypto from some of the world’s biggest technology companies sent the … [+]
Last year, the bitcoin price soared due to interest in bitcoin and crypto from technology giants including social media giant Facebook and iPhone-maker Apple—rising to highs of around $14,000 per bitcoin before faltering in the face of fierce regulatory scrutiny.
Facebook’s plans for what it had hoped would be a bitcoin-beating private cryptocurrency, libra, have become derailed leaving bitcoin, the original and by far most valuable cryptocurrency, the front runner for what Dorsey has said could be the “internet’s first currency.”
Dorsey’s support for bitcoin during his leadership of Twitter has been good for crypto’s image—but it’s Square, not Twitter, that will make bitcoin mainstream.