Square Puts 1% of Total Assets in Bitcoin in Surprise $50M Investment

Square, the payments company helmed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, announced Thursday it has purchased 4,709 bitcoins, a $50 million investment representing 1% of the firm’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.

“We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future,” said Square CFO Amrita Ahuja. “For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey.”

Bitcoin’s price jumped 2.5% following the announcement, while shares in Square popped around 1%.

Characterized by Square as a mission-driven investment, Square’s $50 million buy comes amid Dorsey’s very public spat over corporate responsibility with another crypto-friendly CEO, Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong.

Dorsey chided Armstrong last week for discouraging his employees from engaging in activism in the workplace. Armstrong said it was a corporate imperative; Dorsey framed it as hypocritical.

“Bitcoin (aka ‘crypto’) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society,” Dorsey tweeted in response to Armstrong’s blog post.

Square is also now the second technology firm to go long on bitcoin in recent months after MicroStrategy, a business intelligence firm, crowned the crypto as its treasury reserve asset of choice.

MicroStrategy invested $425 million into bitcoin, according to a series of disclosures that pumped the stock’s value and revealed its CEO, Michael Saylor, to be an unexpectedly vocal bitcoin maximalist.

But Square’s bitcoin investment is far more in line with its corporate identity and business services than was the case for MicroStrategy.

Square’s Cash App is a critical bitcoin entry point for many retail investors. It has become a major revenue driver for the publicly traded fintech.

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