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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Block’s Cash App Bitcoin Revenue Falls 7%

The Cash App business section of Jack Dorsey’s payment startup, Block Inc., reported Bitcoin (BTC) revenue of $1.83 billion in the fourth quarter, which is a 7% decrease from the same period last year.

Block attributed the reduction in Bitcoin income to the decline in the price of BTC during the year, which was reported in its quarterly and full-year results on February 23. Bitcoin’s price dropped by nearly 65 percent throughout the course of 2022.

Due to the decrease in sales, Cash App’s Bitcoin gross profit decreased by 25% year-on-year, coming in at $35 million for the quarter. This was the lowest quarterly total since the company began reporting Bitcoin earnings.

Block’s Cash App is an application for processing payments made using mobile phones. On October 25th, functionality for transactions made via the Bitcoin Lightning Network was enabled to Cash App. It does this by offering Bitcoin sales to its consumers via the app, which brings in money.

In the entire year of 2022, Cash App made $7.11 billion in Bitcoin revenue and $156 million in Bitcoin gross profit, representing decreases of 29% and 28%, respectively, when compared to 2021’s figures.

In the meanwhile, Block Inc. reported a significantly increased net loss for the quarter, coming in at $114 million. This is compared to a loss of $77 million in 2021. When compared to the same period of the previous year, its adjusted profits before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) rose to $281 million, or a 53% rise. The aggregate amount of revenue during the period was $4.65 billion.

Following the release of the results report, the after-hours trading of Block’s shares resulted in a significant price increase.

The increase in the company’s gross profit, which was up 40% in Q4 compared to the same period the previous year and also above expert estimates, has been ascribed by some analysts to the surge in revenue.


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Damus, a decentralized social network teased an upcoming feature

The decentralized social network Damus has hinted that its mobile application will soon include a feature that would enable users to earn satoshis, the smallest fraction of Bitcoin (BTC), depending on the interaction they get on their posts on the site.

In a tweet, the Damus team brought attention to the fact that the “coming soon” version of the app would have a function that enables users to earn satoshis and that this function will be available “soon”. After the first statement, the team did not give any more information.

Damus markets itself as a decentralized social network that is user-run and does not depend on centralized businesses for its functionality. The program is based on Nostr, which stands for “Notes and Other Stuff Transmitted by Relays.” It is a decentralized network that makes it possible for users to communicate with one another in a private setting. Within the confines of its network, there are no servers. Instead, messages are sent across the system through a decentralized network of relays.

Members of the community as a whole have shown their enthusiasm for the newly implemented Damus function, with some even going so far as to refer to Nostr as “the future of monetization.”

Jack Dorsey, who formerly served as CEO of Twitter, has also been showing his support for the Nostr initiative by contributing financial resources to its creators. Dorsey said on the 16th of December that he had contributed 14 BTC, which was equivalent to around $250,000 at the time, to assist in the growth of the decentralized social network.

On February 1, Damus was released to the public on the Apple App Store and became accessible for users of the iPhone to download. After this, Jack Dorsey also announced the news through his Twitter account, where he referred to the change as a new “milestone” for open-source protocol development.

Back on December 14, the former CEO of Twitter advocated for the establishment of a decentralized Twitter alternative. This was in response to the publication of the findings of an internal inquiry that had been headed by Elon Musk and had shown problems relating to censorship on Twitter. Dorsey addressed various solutions to the problems, such as resistance to control by corporations or governments, giving writers the authority to delete their own material, and using algorithmic moderation.


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Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Price Dropped to Less than $100 from $2.9M

According to a recent tweet from the self-acclaimed Chairman of the Wall Street Bet, a Reddit subgroup known for financial-related discussions, the first tweet is now worth as low as $97. This loss corresponds to a 99.996% loss since the time it was auctioned.


At the height of the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) storm in 2021, Jack Dorsey made history in the ecosystem as his first-ever tweet was auctioned for $2.9 million, a fund he donated to an African charity.

The transaction was celebrated by many in the ecosystem, who acknowledged the understanding of the buyer, Sina Estavi, as it regards the significance of NFTs and the technology backing it. While Estavi, a crypto entrepreneur who owns Bridge Oracle, boasts of being the owner of the world’s first-ever tweet, the monetary value of an investment that is considered to be better than real estate is not encouraging at all.

While the figure represents the best offer presented to Sina for the tweet, this does not imply that the owner has to agree to the selloff and lose that much money. For what it’s worth, Sina Estavi did not necessarily buy the tweet so he could sell; should this be his motive, then his expectations must have been dashed by present realities.

The broader digital currency ecosystem has taken a massive nosedive in recent times, plunging from over $2.9 trillion in Q4 last year to less than $900 billion at some points this year. This valuation plunge has trickled down notably even to the NFT ecosystem.

While many crypto advocates consider the massive valuation of digital currencies back at the time to be a reflection of massive money laundering activities. Based on these assumptions, the majority of regulators have now started exploring avenues to impose functional regulations into the NFT world and other areas of the broader blockchain industry.

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Jack Dorsey on UBI: Bitcoin encourages transparency, long-term thinking

Twitter co-founder and Block (previously Square) CEO Jack Dorsey discussed the implications of a Bitcoin (BTC)-powered universal basic income (UBI) strategy with US congressional candidate and a full-time elementary school teacher, Aarika Rhodes. 

“Obscurity of information forces and incentivizes people to negative (financial) behaviors that don’t work for them, their community or family,” said Dorsey while pointing out the lack of transparency within the existing centralized financial system.

“If there’s one thing to focus on in Bitcoin — the operations are transparent, the code is transparent, the policy is transparent.”

This base foundation of BTC is what Dorsey believes has the potential to solve numerous use cases and problems as a direct result of using fiat currency. Through business initiatives including Start Small, the entrepreneur has invested over $55 million across the United States and overseas to experiment on UBI.

“We’re about to do a test of the UBI-like concept with Bitcoin as well.”

Dorsey’s BTC-powered UBI experiment will involve creating a small-scale closed-loop community of sellers and merchants that adhere to the Bitcoin standards. Based on the happiness quotient and willingness to participate, he intends to identify use cases for wide-scale implementation.

Rhodes strongly believes that involving Bitcoin will reduce the costs related to banking fees:

“When you have something like Lightning (network), where you can transact at very low fees is a benefit for everyone. It doesn’t matter where are economically.”

In terms of financial literacy, Dorsey said that adopting the Bitcoin standard inculcates long-term thinking, however, his skepticism toward a BTC-powered universal basic income will reduce based on the results portrayed by the ongoing experiments:

“Just that action of owning it (BTC) will change people’s mindsets in fundamental ways that are net positive and compounds throughout their communities, and encourages other actions like sellers and merchants around them doing similar things.”

Along with the benefits that come with the Bitcoin standard, Dorsey is also vigilant about its negative impacts. On an end note, he highlighted the inefficiencies within the government policies and how UBI helps address some of the challenges:

“If you intend to help people by giving them money directly is far better than the money that the governments (federal and local) spends on these existing support structures. It’s not helping people.”

Related: Jack Dorsey: Diem was a waste of time, Meta should’ve focused on BTC

In a recent interview with MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, Dorsey opined that Facebook (later rebranded as Meta) should’ve used an open-ended protocol like Bitcoin rather than attempting to create its own currency, Diem.

As Cointelegraph reported, Dorsey added that making BTC more accessible would also benefit many of Meta’s instant messaging and voice-over-IP services such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.