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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Dorsey’s Payments Firm Block Starts to Begin Mining Bitcoin

Block Inc, formerly known as Square, will begin mining Bitcoin with its mining system based on custom silicon and open source for individuals and businesses worldwide.

Block’s co-founder Jack Dorsey first suggested the idea on October 15, 2021, and said mining needs to be more distributed and more efficient.

Thomas Templeton, Block’s general manager of hardware, explained Block’s future plans for this in a series of Twitter posts and hopes to improve the reliability and user experience of mining, making the process of creating bitcoin “from buying, to set up, to maintenance, to mining” more efficient.

The project is incubating in Block’s hardware team, which will work together with a core engineering team of system ASIC, and software designers led by Afshin Rezayee.

Templeton said the company is addressing major barriers to entry such as availability of miners, expensive and hard to find mining rigs, and unpredictable deliveries. The reliability of the miners are due to heat dissipation and dust and the machine can be unused every day which consumes a lot of time to restart and some mining rigs generate harmful harmonics in the grid and can generate a lot of noise at home.

Templeton tweeted that:

“All miners want lower power consumption and higher or this project, we started with evaluating various IP blocks (since we’re open to making a new ASIC), open-source miner firmware, and other system software offerings.”

Last year, Block Inc released its third-quarter financial report, showing that the mobile payment application Cash App under Square achieved $1.82 billion in Bitcoin revenue.

In another news from two days ago, Block Inc made a formal argument at a Missouri federal court stating that its new name won’t confuse potential customers with tax-preparation giant H&R Block who has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the financial-services company.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Jack Dorsey’s Block Looking To Democratize Bitcoin Mining With Open Source Mining System

Block, formerly known as Square, is working on an open-source bitcoin mining system, according to CEO Jack Dorsey. He referenced a more detailed thread on the project’s objectives by the company’s general manager for hardware, Thomas Templeton.

Block Is Working On Bitcoin Mining

Thomas Templeton, Block’s general manager for hardware, set out the company’s next moves in a series of tweets.

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“From buying, to set up, to maintenance, to mining,” Templeton said, the goal is to make bitcoin mining — the process of creating new bitcoins by solving increasingly hard computing tasks — more dispersed and efficient in every aspect.

According to Templeton, making the mining process more accessible is about more than just creating more bitcoin.

Templeton wrote:

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“We want to make mining more distributed and efficient in every way, from buying, to set up, to maintenance, to mining. We’re interested because mining goes far beyond creating new bitcoin. We see it as a long-term need for a future that is fully decentralized and permissionless.”

The initiative is focused in combining performance and open-source design in a “elegant system integration,” according to Templeton. The company is looking for technologies and partnerships that could help the idea, which is currently being developed by Block’s hardware team. Afshin Rezayee is leading a dedicated team of engineers to the endeavor, and available positions include electrical engineers, software and analog designers, ASIC engineers, and layout engineers.

BTC Market cap down from last year's ATH. Source: TradingView

The bitcoin mining system developed by Block aims to improve three areas of bitcoin mining: availability, reliability, and performance. The goal is to make mining rigs easier to identify and buy, while also providing a consistent delivery experience; improve dependability by designing something that can better dissipate heat and dust; and boost performance while consuming less power.

“Common issues we’ve heard with current systems are around heat dissipation and dust. They also become non-functional almost every day, which requires a time-consuming reboot. We want to build something that just works,” Templeton tweeted. “They’re also very noisy, which makes them too loud for home use.”

Related article | Is Norton 360 Mining Ethereum In Your Computer? If It Is, They’ll Take a 15% Cut

Dorsey Wants To Democratize BTC Mining

The mission statement of this project includes democratizing bitcoin mining access.

Dorsey wrote in October:

“Mining isn’t accessible to everyone. Bitcoin mining should be as easy as plugging a rig into a power source. There isn’t enough incentive today for individuals to overcome the complexity of running a miner for themselves.”

The news corresponds to Dorsey’s announcements from 2021. Dorsey tweeted,

Block’s news comes only months after the United States overtook China as the world’s top bitcoin mining destination for the first time. Renewable energy sources abound in the United States.

Hydropower mining farms flourish in Washington State. New York generates more hydroelectric power than any other state east of the Rocky Mountains, and its nuclear power plants contribute to the state’s objective of zero carbon electricity. Meanwhile, Texas’ renewable energy contribution is increasing over time, with wind power accounting for 20% of the state’s power in 2019. In addition, the Texas grid continues to add more wind and solar power at a rapid pace.

Block hasn’t given a specific date for when its bitcoin mining system would be available for purchase and use, since the company is still in the research phase of development. Templeton also encouraged members of the public to contact him if they had any concerns or suggestions for improving the initiative.

Related article | More Green Energy: Crypto Mining Saves A Hydro Power Plant In Costa Rica


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Cash App integrates Bitcoin Lightning Network for faster BTC transfers

Popular mobile payment service Cash App has integrated the Bitcoin (BTC) Lightning Network as a part of an update, allowing faster and cheaper BTC transfers using the Layer 2 (L2) payment protocol. 

Cash App is developed and owned by Block (formerly Square), a fintech firm co-founded by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The announcement of the BTC L2 integration was shared as a notification on the official Cash App application, which made its way through to Crypto Twitter:

The Bitcoin Lightning Network protocol addresses the noted limitations of the BTC blockchain to improve speeds while reducing the costs associated with transactions. 

Just last month, Dorsey featured in a video with Lightning Development Kit (LDK), a service developed by Spiral, a Square subsidiary focused on building for the Bitcoin ecosystem. LDK allows developers to integrate Lightning protocols into Bitcoin wallets and related services.

Prior to leaving Twitter, Dorsey also openly voiced his interest in integrating L2 protocols for the newly launched tipping services on Twitter and BlueSky:

The latest data from Business of Apps shows that Cash App catered to over 36 million users across the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Related: Block’s Cash App will allow users to gift BTC for the holidays

Favoring ongoing Bitcoin adoption, Cash App launched a service that allowed users to gift BTC and stocks over the holiday season.

Cash App allowed users to send a minimum of $1 worth of BTC without needing to own the assets beforehand.