Dorsey: Block Shifting From Payments-Only Focus – PYMNTS.com

Block is stepping away from its identity as a payment-only platform and will increase its focus on cryptocurrency and music streaming as part of a transition to an all-encompassing ecosystem, according to a CNBC report Wednesday (May 18) on the company’s first investor day in five years.
“Calling Block a payments company is like calling Amazon a bookseller,” CFO Amrita Ahuja told CNBC in an interview. “We’ve grown in so many different ways across multiple dimensions.”
CEO and Co-founder Jack Dorsey told attendees during his keynote that Block is evolving and bitcoin will have an increasing role in its future, adding Block can’t be considered a one-category brand.
“We are no longer just a payments company,” Dorsey said during the livestreamed event. “A lot has changed since our last investor day.”
The company formerly known as Square was founded in 2009 with a credit card reader for mobile phones before expanding into peer-to-peer payments and financial products including Cash App. The company also acquired Afterpay for $29 billion and Jay-Z’s Tidal music streaming service for $300 million and operates an FDIC-insured bank as well as offering stock and cryptocurrency trading.
The rebranding from Square to Block “was meant in part to reflect that widening aperture and broader plans around crypto and blockchain,” the report says.
Blockchain’s development “may feel slow relative to other candidates, but that’s a result of the deliberateness required to preserve the attributes necessary for money storage and transmission,” Dorsey said in his keynote, according to the CNBC report.
“The internet requires a currency native to itself, and in looking at the entire ecosystem of technologies to fill this role, it’s clear that bitcoin is currently the only candidate,” he said.
Related: Square Launches New Tools for Commerce Apps, Cash App Pay
Last week, Square announced plans to debut new APIs (Bookings API and Checkout API), which it says will help developers and partners build eCommerce solutions.
Bookings API is already available and will help developers leverage the functionality of Square Appointments within the app, letting developers make and manage bookings, search availability of staff members, send automated text and email reminders and other things.
Checkout API is a way to integrate Square through a checkout page hosted by the company which works through text, website, internal dashboard and in-store.
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