Square doubles down on Australia, but not bitcoin, as growth surges – About Your Online Magazine


Since 2019 Square it ceased to have the majority of Australian personnel employed in Melbourne, with a handful in Sydney, to spread across the country thanks to a flexible work policy.

Square and Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey leads the two companies. James Brickwood

Now it employs people in regions like Torquay, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast, Launceston and even a rural Tasmanian town called Pontville, with a population of just 623 people.

Since the pandemic, there have also been more Australians applying for positions abroad, hoping to return home. The company recently hired someone who returned from London.

While Australian gross profit more than doubled in the three months ended March 31 compared to the prior year period, gross profit for all of Square’s international markets grew by 80 percent.

In total, Square’s revenue totaled $ US5.06 billion ($ 6.5 billion), an increase of 266 percent in the quarter, driven substantially by the increase in the value of bitcoin.

Bitcoin transactions through the Square’s Cash app (which allows people to transfer money, or bitcoin, to one another) have skyrocketed and the company also has 5 percent of its money invested in bitcoin. Although the Square’s Cash App is not yet in Australia, a large part of its engineering team is based here.

Excluding bitcoin revenue, total revenue from the underlying business was $ 1.55 billion, an increase of 44% in one year.

Ms. Ahuja said that Square did not intend to invest more in cryptocurrency at this time, but by having a small percentage of its money in the alternative asset class, it was allowing the company to learn more about the field firsthand.

“We see a long-term view that is potentially very disturbing and very transformative for the commerce landscape in a world in which cryptography can break the barrier and create a global currency,” she said.

“But we also know that it will change and go through peaks and valleys along that path, so let’s take small steps and iterate through the areas that we think are working.”

Ms. Ahuja declined to comment on the cryptocurrency movement after comments from by Elon Musk that Tesla would no longer accept bitcoin payments because of energy consumption, but she said this was a well-understood problem for a long time.

“We want to be part of the solution to create a greener supply chain for bitcoin. In December, we created a $ 10 million investment in clean bitcoin energy and are embarking on zero [emissions] in our operations until 2030. ”

“We believe that there is potential in a longer horizon of five to 10 years for it to be more than a store of value and potentially become a currency.”

Last year, Square added more than $ 100 to its share price, from $ 78.20 to more than $ 197, reaching a high of $ 283 earlier this year.

Prior to joining Square in 2019, Ms. Ahuja worked for Disney and Fox and was CFO of Blizzard Entertainment.

His experience in the entertainment industry would undoubtedly have helped inform the company’s recent surprise purchase of Jay-Z’s music streaming platform, Tidal for $ US297 million.

Ms. Ahuja said that Square wants to help artists increase their revenue base and believes it is well positioned to do so.

Although the focus of this third division of Square is on musicians for the time being, she indicated that in the future this could extend to other categories of artists.

“Artists don’t have access to tools, software and mechanisms to interact with fans and increase their revenue base,” she said.

“Let’s start small and iterate. Jack has a 100-day plan to develop software and tools for artists.

“If Square can do what is done by salespeople and individuals by artists, empowering these creators with their own tools to provide closer connections with fans, this is the opportunity we are looking to serve.”

Paula Fonseca