Square backs cryptocurrency, buys $50 million in bitcoin

Over the years, billionaire entrepreneur Jack Dorsey has cultivated a reputation as one of the more unconventional leaders in business, with his daily ice baths, weekend fasts, and devotion to Stoic philosophy.

Now his company Square is following in his footsteps with an unconventional investment. The Silicon Valley-based payments platform is buying 4,709 bitcoins—worth $50 million, or roughly 1% of Square’s total assets.

“Square believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment and provides a way for the world to participate in a global monetary system, which aligns with the company’s purpose,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

Although unusual, the investment isn’t hugely surprising, as it was likely driven by Square founder and CEO Dorsey—who’s been a vocal advocate for cryptocurrency. In 2018, he told attendees at Consensus, an annual conference for cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts, “The internet is going to have a native currency. So let’s not wait for it to happen—let’s help it happen.”

He also noted that if cryptocurrency were used as a global currency, Square could more easily expand to markets around the world. It’s currently limited by regulatory processes unique to each country and its currency.

Square’s mobile payments product, Cash App, began offering cryptocurrency trading services two years ago. And last year, the company formed Square Crypto, an independent team that contributes to bitcoin open-source work.

With this latest investment, Dorsey continues to bet big on digital currency, which he’s said he expects to become ubiquitous within the next decade.

The company’s stock is up 2.5% following the news.

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