Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is one of the cryptocurrency industry’s biggest Bitcoin (BTC) bulls. Even before officially stepping away from his responsibilities at Twitter, the tech billionaire was captivated by the open-source blockchain, expressing that “Bitcoin changes everything.”
Dorsey’s vision for the future of Bitcoin is bright. As the co-founder and CEO of Block, Dorsey has launched a series of startups and mining operations with one goal: integrating the Bitcoin ecosystem into the real world.
What has Jack Dorsey been building in crypto since parting ways with the Bird App? Why is the serial founder so critical of other digital assets like Ethereum (ETH) and what is his next business venture?
Who Is Jack Dorsey?
Jack Dorsey is a tech entrepreneur best known for creating Twitter, one of the world’s largest social media platforms. He was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and expressed an interest in computer programming from a young age.
As a teenager, Dorsey developed dispatch software for taxi services. He studied computer science at both the University of Missouri and New York University, but dropped out before graduating and moved to San Francisco to work on Twitter.
Twitter Founder Turned Bitcoin Maxi
Jack Dorsey was a centerpiece at Twitter. Having founded the company, he rotated between CEO and other top leadership positions for 15 years. Twitter toyed with cryptocurrency integrations, like BTC tipping services, in the past, but it never caught the mass adoption Dorsey was looking for.
On a 2019 trip to Africa, Dorsey’s infatuation with Bitcoin and blockchain technology became an obsession. He frequently tweeted about Bitcoin during the journey after being exposed to various small businesses using the Bitcoin network. He’d intended to return to live in Africa for a short period in 2020 but was ultimately foiled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dorsey saw firsthand how Bitcoin was ‘banking the unbanked’ and providing financial infrastructure to the developing communities who needed it most.
He became a strong advocate and spokesperson for the digital currency, speaking at Bitcoin events and conferences across the U.S. At ‘The B Word,’ Dorsey expressed a hope that Bitcoin “helps create world peace.”
In November 2021, Dorsey announced that he’d be leaving Twitter. The social network founder still owns a rough 2.4% stake in the company. The departure has meant that Jack Dorsey is able to focus entirely on his other empire, one that aligns more with his Bitcoin interests.
Dorsey’s New Empire – Block
While Dorsey was still the Twitter CEO, he founded a separate company developing payments infrastructure for small businesses. Originally called Square, the company was rebranded to Block shortly after Dorsey stepped down from his role at Twitter.
Block is a parent company for a range of subsidiaries that provide products, tools, and services that push Bitcoin and its use cases into the public eye. Alongside these services, Block also produces Bitcoin mining equipment and infrastructure.
Square began as a payments processing company back in 2010. The company’s primary product was a small card reader compatible with mobile devices. While it seems simple now, this was a big step for mobile payments at the time.
Today, Square is a fully-fledged Point-of-Sale system available to businesses worldwide. Unsurprisingly, the platform accepts Bitcoin payments through Dorsey’s sister company, Cash App.
Cash App is a simple platform that makes it easy for users to send funds, both BTC and fiat currencies like USD, between accounts. Additionally, Cash App users can buy Bitcoin and invest in traditional stocks from within the app.
Despite struggling to gain users in its early years, Cash App has exploded in popularity. According to Block, the platform supports over 50 million monthly active users.
Spiral is a fund supporting developers and startups looking to build on Bitcoin. Spiral provides grants and funding for teams creating Bitcoin tools and services.
The grants provided by Spiral have produced meaningful protocols within the Bitcoin ecosystem. These include Mempool, a sophisticated blockchain explorer, and The Eye of Satoshi, a watchtower that tracks the chain for malicious activity.
Perhaps Jack Dorsey’s most ambitious endeavor to date, TBD aims to leapfrog Web3 and Web4, jumping straight into Web5. The protocol envisions a fully decentralized internet. It is Dorsey’s belief that Web3 doesn’t truly protect users’ data and assets.
Dorsey claims his Web5 movement will reinvent how we control data and identity online, giving users greater security and peace of mind on decentralized networks.
Something of an outlier on this list, Tidal is a music streaming platform created by Jay-Z. The Spotify competitor reportedly struggled when Dorsey acquired the company for $300 million.
Given that Tidal’s product offering falls well outside Block’s interests, critics have speculated that acquiring Tidal was a vanity purchase. Despite this, Dorsey affirms he always knew that Tidal was “something special” and that he’s “inspired” to work alongside Jay-Z.
Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk
Being two of the most successful tech entrepreneurs of the millennia, it’s unsurprising that Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk have had plenty to say about each other over the years.
For the most part, the relationship has been a positive one. Dorsey and Musk have been quick to support each other in the face of criticism. Dorsey was a firm advocate of Musk, believing that the Tesla CEO exemplified what Twitter was created for by using the platform to create misleading press from the media.
In return, Musk vouched for Dorsey when the former Twitter CEO’s position at the company was under threat from the Wall Street activist investors who wanted to supplant him.
Since Elon’s Twitter takeover, the waters have become turbulent. Despite initially supporting Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Dorsey backpedaled, criticizing Elon’s leadership of the social media network. While unconfirmed, this may be due to Musk’s insistence to integrate Dogecoin (DOGE) into the platform instead of Dorsey’s beloved Bitcoin.
What’s Next For Jack Dorsey?
Jack Dorsey appears to have an insatiable itch to build social networks. Since stepping away from Twitter, Dorsey has not only been hard at work developing Block; he’s also set plans in motion to launch a Twitter competitor.
Dorsey’s new venture, Bluesky, is a social media platform designed to reflect the very ethos of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. The decentralized and censorship-resistant platform creates a permissionless social network to share information.
Bluesky is still in development, with beta testers finalizing the platform ahead of its public launch.
On the Flipside
- While Jack Dorsey is a staunch Bitcoin bull, he has zero interest in the wider Web 3 ecosystem. He’s criticized Ethereum for being overly centralized and indifferent towards other digital assets, like NFTs.
Why You Should Care
Whether you like him or not, Jack Dorsey is building products and services that help put Bitcoin in the public eye. Thousands of people have bought or transferred BTC for the first time through Cash App, and Bluesky will likely incorporate cryptocurrency in some form.
According to Forbes, Jack Dorsey has an estimated net worth of $4 billion.
Jack Dorsey was born on the 19th of November, 1976, in St Louis, Missouri.
While Dorsey declares that he left Twitter to focus on developing Block and Bluesky, there is some speculation that he resigned after facing overwhelming pressure from activist investors like Elliot Management. Elliot Management reportedly had low confidence in Dorsey’s ability and commitment to running Twitter.
According to Bitcoin Magazine, Jack Dorsey’s company, Square, holds around 8,027 BTC. These bitcoins were allegedly acquired at an average price of around $27,000. His personal holdings are unknown.