In a surprise move, Square announced the acquisition of 4,709 Bitcoin (BTC) worth roughly $50 million at time of publication. The company’s co-founder Jack Dorsey has been a long-term proponent of Bitcoin and crypto, while the company’s CashApp allows its users to invest in Bitcoin.
This news comes months after another publicly traded company, MicroStrategy, decided to convert a portion of its treasury into Bitcoin. Currently, the company holds 38,250 BTC and its CEO Michael Saylor has become one of the most vocal Bitcoin advocates. Though MicroStrategy is a large company in its own right with a $1.5 billion market capitalization, it pales in comparison to Square, which holds an $81 billion capitalization.
Square’s accompanying press release indicated that the move is something of an ideological statement:
“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.”
On September 30, Dorsey chastised Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for his apolitical leadership:
#Bitcoin (aka “crypto”) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society. Important to at *least* acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily. This leaves people behind: https://t.co/0LMlF1qcmG
— jack (@jack) September 30, 2020
The press release noted the investment represents approximately 1% of Square’s “assets as of the end of the second quarter of 2020.” As of June 30, the company’s total assets amounted to $7.8 billion, so the acquisition may represent closer to 0.64% of the company’s assets.