Jack Dorsey’s Block Appoints MIT’s Neha Narula to Board of Directors

Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ), a global technology company with a focus on financial services, announced on July 27, 2023, the appointment of Neha Narula, Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, to its Board of Directors. This move further solidifies Block’s commitment to leveraging open source software and open protocols to transform the way people move money.

Narula, who has been serving as the Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab since January 2017, brings a wealth of expertise in Bitcoin and open source technology to the board.

Prior to joining MIT, she held a position as a senior software engineer at Google. Narula also currently serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Innovation Advisory Council. Her academic credentials include a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Dartmouth College and a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT.

“I’ve long admired Block’s focus on building simple, cohesive products that empower people and communities to participate in the financial system,” said Narula. “We share core values around the power of open source software and the ability for open protocols to transform the way people move money. I’m honored and excited to join Block’s board of directors and contribute to the company’s purpose of economic empowerment.”

Block’s Head and Chairman, Jack Dorsey, expressed his enthusiasm about Narula’s appointment, stating, “Neha’s expertise in Bitcoin and open source technology is a great addition to our Board. Neha’s passion for building intuitive, scaled systems to move money across the Internet efficiently fits into our company’s purpose, and we’re excited to have her join our team.”

Block, Inc., formerly known as Square, Inc., is composed of Square, Cash App, Spiral, TIDAL, and TBD. The company is dedicated to creating tools that expand access to the economy. Its integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions, business software, and banking services helps sellers run and grow their businesses.

With Cash App, anyone can easily send, spend, or invest their money in stocks or Bitcoin. Spiral builds and funds free, open-source Bitcoin projects, while TIDAL provides a platform for musicians and their fans to connect more deeply. TBD is building an open developer platform to make it easier to access Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies without having to go through an institution.

Narula’s appointment to the board is expected to further enhance Block’s mission of economic empowerment through the use of open source software and open protocols.

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Former CTO of Square and Creator of Cash App Dies in San Francisco Stabbing

Bob Lee, the former chief technology officer of Square and creator of Cash App, died on April 4, 2023, following a stabbing in San Francisco. Lee was a prominent figure in the tech industry, having contributed significantly to the development of Square and Cash App, two popular payment processing platforms. Lee’s death has come as a shock to the tech community, with many expressing their condolences on social media.

Bill Barhydt, the CEO of Abra, a leading crypto wallet company, confirmed Lee’s death on Twitter on April 5. Barhydt shared a report from a local media outlet that reported on Lee’s death but did not name him. However, Barhydt confirmed that it was indeed Bob Lee who had passed away. Barhydt expressed his grief and described Lee as a “brilliant mind” who had made significant contributions to the tech industry.

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, also expressed his condolences on the decentralized social media platform Nostr. Dorsey confirmed the news of Lee’s death and described it as “heartbreaking.” Many in the tech community have expressed their shock and sadness at the news of Lee’s untimely passing.

Lee’s contributions to the tech industry are significant, having played a pivotal role in the development of Square and Cash App. Square is a payment processing platform that allows small businesses to accept credit card payments. Cash App, on the other hand, is a mobile payment service that allows users to send and receive money. Lee was the chief technology officer of Square from 2009 to 2013 and is credited with playing a significant role in the company’s success.

Lee’s death has raised concerns about the safety of tech workers in San Francisco. The city has been grappling with rising crime rates, including a spate of violent incidents in recent months. Lee’s death is a tragic reminder of the need for increased security measures to protect the tech community.

In conclusion, Bob Lee’s passing is a significant loss to the tech industry. He was a talented and innovative individual who made significant contributions to the development of Square and Cash App. His untimely death is a reminder of the need for increased security measures to protect tech workers in San Francisco and other cities. The tech community will undoubtedly mourn his passing and remember his legacy.


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Cash App Integrates TaxBit for Streamlined Crypto Tax Reporting

Cash App, a mobile payments processor, has integrated tax and accounting software provider TaxBit into its platform to streamline the tax reporting process for Bitcoin users. The integration, which was announced by both companies, allows Cash App users to track their Bitcoin transactions for tax purposes using TaxBit’s platform. TaxBit’s chief operating officer, Lindsey Argalas, stated that their platform simplifies tax reporting for anyone who has integrated digital assets into their investment portfolio.

Cash App launched its Bitcoin trading services in 2018 and introduced BTC deposits the following year. As of now, the company boasts over 10 million Bitcoin users. Its parent company, Block Inc., has generated billions of dollars in Bitcoin revenue over the years. Block Inc. reported $1.96 billion in Bitcoin revenue during the fourth quarter of 2021, according to United States Securities and Exchange filings.

TaxBit, on the other hand, launched TaxBit Network in 2022, which provides crypto traders free tax forms. The industry consortium was launched with over a dozen U.S.-based companies, including PayPal, Coinbase, Binance.US, Paxos, and Gemini. The aim of TaxBit Network is to simplify tax reporting for cryptocurrency traders and investors.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of Washington has set January 23 as the start of the 2022 tax filing season, giving most taxpayers until April 18 to file and pay their taxes owed. In January, the IRS reminded taxpayers of their crypto income reporting obligations, including capital gains from trading, mining, and staking activities.

The integration of TaxBit into Cash App’s services comes as more companies are exploring the potential of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. As the popularity of digital assets continues to grow, regulators and tax authorities are paying closer attention to the tax implications of crypto investments. Platforms like TaxBit can help investors and traders stay on top of their tax obligations and avoid any potential legal issues.

In conclusion, the integration of TaxBit into Cash App’s services is a positive step for the cryptocurrency industry. It provides a more efficient and streamlined way for Bitcoin users to manage their tax obligations. As the industry continues to evolve, we can expect to see more developments aimed at making crypto investments more accessible and easier to manage.


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Cash App Introduces Bitcoin Transactions via Lightning Network

Payment processing app created by Block Inc, Cash App, has now added support for Bitcoin transactions enabling users to both send and receive Bitcoin via the lightning network.


After its integration with the lightning network in February to allow users to make payments using Bitcoin, Cash App has now added support for transactions via the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

The Lightning Network is a layer-2 solution network built on top of Bitcoin to improve its scalability and enable instant payments across a network of participants.

The Product Lead Michael Rihani initially revealed this announcement when he made a post about it on Twitter. He added, “Cash App now supports both send and receive over lightning. As long as the other wallet supports LN, you should be good.”

According to Michael Rihani, this new feature is only currently available to Cash App users in the United States. In addition, the feature is excluded for residents in New York State, as they won’t be allowed to employ this service.

When some users commented on Micheal’s announcement about the feature on Twitter, they indicated that it wasn’t working. Michael confirmed that the feature is available for both Android and iOS users, and they should either install or update to the latest version of the app.

CashApp started as one of the first mainstream payment apps to support Bitcoin since 2018. “We believe that bitcoin is the world’s best digital, sound money, period,” said Miles Suter, Crypto Product Lead at CashApp. “We believe that Bitcoin is for the people and that in America, Cash App is the financial app for the people.”

In addition to Cash App’s support of the Bitcoin lightning network, the layer 2 solution itself has been growing so well over the years. As reported by Blockchain.News earlier this month, the lightning rework now crossed the 5,000 BTC Benchmark, marking its increase of an additional 2000 BTC in just 1 year.

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Block Q1 BTC Revenue Plunges 51% Amid General Market Turbulence

Block Inc’s Cash App recorded a total Bitcoin (BTC) sale of $1.73 billion in the first quarter of 2022, a figure that plunged by over 51% from the prior quarter.


Cash App comes off as one of the most dominant channels to buy and transact in Bitcoin, cementing its role as one of the pioneers in the fintech space that adopted the premier cryptocurrency.

The growth of the digital currency ecosystem has been very erratic during the quarter and this became visible in Block’s overall performance with respect to the sales and revenue of the digital currency. Atop the declined total sales, the gross profit coming from the sales of the digital currency was pegged at $43 million when compared to this same period last year.

“Cash App generated $1.73 billion of bitcoin revenue and $43 million of bitcoin gross profit during the first quarter of 2022, down 51% and 42% year over year, respectively. On a two-year CAGR basis, bitcoin revenue and gross profit grew 138% and 155%, respectively,” Block said in its shareholder letter. The company was formerly known as Square Inc and at the time, the firm’s performance was known to be boosted by Bitcoin’s growth.

Since the beginning of the year, the volatility in the price of Bitcoin has kept it within the $48,086.84 and $34,378.04 price ranges respectively. The extreme difference in this range is a conservative addition compared to what the premier coin is known to always print.

The general absence of a massive price upsurge, known as a bull run, notably affected the demand for the cryptocurrency as Block said in the shareholder’s letter.

“The year-over-year decrease in bitcoin revenue and gross profit was driven primarily by relative stability in the price of bitcoin during the quarter, which affected consumer demand and trading activity compared to the prior year period. Bitcoin revenue and gross profit were relatively consistent compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.”

Drawing on this reality, the company said future revenue and profit can also be impacted by these trends in relaxed demand.

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Heavyweight champ to take 50% of his UFC 270 purse in Bitcoin

UFC heavyweight title holder Francis Ngannou has announced he will take half of his UFC 270 prize purse in Bitcoin (BTC) via Cash App.

The French-Cameroonian MMA fighter will take on the undefeated Ciryl Gane on Jan. 23 and is set to earn a guaranteed $750,000. In a tweet published on Jan. 18, Ngannou noted that:

“After doing a lot of research on Bitcoin, I really believe it is the future of money, man. Bitcoin is valuable, secure, and no one can mess with it.”

The event will take place inside the 18,000+ capacity Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In what is the first defense of Ngannou’s title reign, the fight is an intriguing heavyweight clash in which both fighters will enter the arena fresh off their best performance to date and the winner could very well be the new face of heavyweight for years to come.

Tickets are still up for grabs and the fight will be broadcast on ESPN + PPV in the US. Cash App is spending big on the fight, with another $300,000 giveaway for followers who post about the campaign on Twitter.

The Cash App marketing campaign has witnessed eminent personalities give away Bitcoin to their social media followers. Earlier in December, Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she was giving away $500,000 in BTC to her Twitter and Instagram followers via a Cash App partnership.

Ngannou is also not the first professional MMA fighter to receive earnings in Bitcoin. In a Dec. 17 interview, Kevin Lee said the Russia-based Eagle Fighting Championship will pay him in BTC.

Related: Crypto.com partners with Los Angeles’ Angel City Football Club

Billions of people watch sports and crypto brands are leveraging the power of sports partnerships to target mainstream users.

In one of the biggest crypto sports partnerships in Australia, the Aussie Rules women’s division called the AFLW has just secured a $25 million deal with Crypto.com. Crypto.com also secured a $700 million deal in mid-November to rebrand the Staples Arena, Los Angeles to the Crypto.com Arena for 20 years.

The crypto company also signed hefty sponsorship deals with Formula 1 and UFC as well, in June and July respectively.

Cash App has formed partnerships with several NFL players, including Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The partnership will allow them to receive their salary in BTC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady took an equity stake in FTX Trading and will receive crypto as part of the endorsement deal. He is acting as an ambassador for the crypto exchange. FTX also has deals with Miami Heat and Major League Baseball.