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   Technology StocksBlock, Inc. (formerly Square)

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From: 2hugo3/10/2021 6:41:21 PM
   of 66
is uptrend intact or at resistance $235

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To: 2hugo who wrote (49)3/21/2021 12:26:49 AM
From: Da Rookie
   of 66
look out below !

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From: Sr K7/24/2021 9:58:21 PM
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Meet the Inner Circle of Square CFO Amrita Ahuja

An all-star panel of advisers have helped the fintech executive climb the corporate, um, lattice


Peter Rudegeair

July 24, 2021 12:00 am ET

In Personal Board of Directors, top business leaders talk about the people they turn to for advice, and how those people have shaped their perspective and helped them succeed. Previous installments from the series are here.

When Amrita Ahuja accepted a job offer in 2018 to become the chief financial officer of payments company Square Inc., she was making a pair of professional leaps.

Ms. Ahuja, 39 years old at the time, had never been part of the C-suite of a publicly traded company. And, up until then, her career path wound through the worlds of digital media and videogame publishing—not the most obvious background for a top executive at a financial-tech company.

The daughter of Indian immigrants who owned a day-care center in a suburb of Cleveland, Ms. Ahuja said she was drawn to Square because of its focus on empowering small-business owners like her parents. Best known for its white tablets and card readers that adorn coffee shops and hair salons, Square makes tools that help small businesses accept payments, manage payroll and borrow money.


Age: 41 Education: A.B. in economics, Duke University; M.B.A., Harvard Business School

Family: Husband Harpreet Marwaha. Two sons, ages 7 and 4. First job: Summer camp counselor at her parents’ daycare in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Favorite videogames: “Guitar Hero” and “Candy Crush”

Favorite pandemic binge watch: “The Great British Baking Show.” “Because of that show I now have pavlova in my repertoire.” Fun fact: Her older brother, Ravi Ahuja, is currently chairman of Global TV Studios for Sony Pictures Entertainment and was once her boss at Fox. Worst career advice: Pick a job title you want in 15 years, then write the plan for how to get there.

“I felt the strongest purpose and calling in Square in helping that entrepreneur,” Ms. Ahuja said, “because of where I grew up.”

Navigating digital transformation has been a theme of Ms. Ahuja’s career, both at Square and in prior strategy and finance roles at Walt Disney Co. , News Corp’s former Fox division, and Activision Blizzard Inc. (News Corp owns The Wall Street Journal.)

At Fox, she played a role in launching the streaming service Hulu. At Activision Blizzard, maker of “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush” and “World of Warcraft,” she helped the videogame company transition its business model from one dominated by in-store sales around the holidays to one defined by an online, always-on, multiplayer experience.

During Ms. Ahuja’s time at Square, the company has helped small-business customers build online storefronts to make up for the shortfall in foot traffic caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Square’s digital consumer banking service, Cash App, thrived as millions of Americans used it to accept their stimulus and unemployment benefits and trade slices of individual stocks and bitcoin.

“Being able to adapt and pivot quickly, being consumer-led, being iterative, learning from your customer base—those are all things that we have to do at Square and game developers have to do continually,” Ms. Ahuja said.

Here are four of her most trusted advisers:

Jack DorseyChief executive officer of both Square Inc. and Twitter Inc.

Even though Mr. Dorsey splits his time running two big publicly traded companies, Ms. Ahuja said he’s readily available to give her advice about topics internal and external to Square.

She prizes his skills as a “future see-er” who is able to spot trends before they go mainstream, whether it was being an early evangelist for bitcoin or championing a geographically distributed workforce before the pandemic made that a reality for most companies. (Mr. Dorsey had planned to spend part of 2020 working remotely from Africa. In March 2020, the onset of the pandemic and Twitter’s battle with activist investor Elliott Management Corp. prompted him to rethink those plans.)

Ms. Ahuja said she personally benefited from Mr. Dorsey’s clarity of vision and willingness to break inertia. When he was recruiting her to join Square, Mr. Dorsey viewed her lack of a track record in financial-tech as an asset since it would push his executive team to think differently.

“Jack, when he hired me, saw something in me before others did,” Ms. Ahuja said.

Mary MeekerGeneral partner at Bond Capital

Both Ms. Ahuja and Ms. Meeker, a member of Square’s board of directors, are alumnae of Morgan Stanley. Ms. Ahuja joined the investment bank as a junior tech banker after graduating from college in 2001. By then, Ms. Meeker was a celebrity stock analyst at Morgan Stanley’s research division, earning the nickname “Queen of the Net” for her early buy ratings on dot-com stocks including AOL and Dell Computer. “I remember absolutely people hanging on Mary’s words,” Ms. Ahuja said.

Now, Ms. Ahuja can tap Ms. Meeker’s wisdom in the boardroom and her ability to map out industry landscapes and quantify risks. These days, Ms. Meeker is known for her influential “Internet Trends” report, each edition of which is densely packed with hundreds of pages of charts and data on the future of technology.

“She has an uncanny ability to identify thematic trends in a data-driven way,” Ms. Ahuja said.

Humam Sakhnini President of King, a unit of Activision Blizzard Inc.

In 2010, Ms. Ahuja took a job in the strategy department of Activision Blizzard, a department then run by Mr. Sakhnini. After about two years in that role, Ms. Ahuja felt like she was settling into a groove. So she was taken aback when Mr. Sakhnini recommended that she switch over into a job in the finance and operations team.

“Coming from traditional media where you were viewed to be disloyal if you wanted to try something different, it was new to hear someone who was a supporter of mine asking me to leave the team and try something else,” Ms. Ahuja said.

She ended up following his counsel, embracing the discomforts of a job she had never considered in hopes of finding personal and professional growth. Ms. Ahuja eventually was promoted to lead Activision Blizzard’s investor relations department before becoming the finance chief of its Blizzard Entertainment unit, which set her up to become Square’s chief financial officer.

Mr. Sakhnini “helped me learn some of the best career advice: It’s not a career ladder, it’s a career lattice,” Ms Ahuja said.

Sarah Harden Chief executive officer, Hello Sunshine

During her three years at News Corp, one of Ms. Ahuja’s mentors was Ms. Harden, a senior vice president overseeing strategy and business development for Fox’s entertainment and sports networks and digital properties. Nowadays, Ms. Harden is the CEO of Hello Sunshine, a media production company founded by actress Reese Witherspoon whose titles include the hit HBO drama “Big Little Lies.”

One of the most senior female executives at Fox Networks Group when Ms. Ahuja worked with her there, Ms. Harden modeled the importance of being vocal in sharing her points of view with other executives while also balancing family duties. Ms. Ahuja remembers negotiating a deal alongside Ms. Harden late one Friday night when Ms. Harden left to go home and bake a cake for her daughter’s birthday the following day.

“She just demonstrated to me that perfect combination of badass businesswoman and mother,” Ms. Ahuja said. “She rarely thinks about boundaries or limits and brings that to the world of storytelling now in the work that she’s currently doing.”

Write to Peter Rudegeair at

Copyright ©2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appeared in the July 24, 2021, print edition as 'Amrita Ahuja.'

Dimons Aren’t Forever, but Boards Act That Way

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From: Sr K8/1/2021 6:10:39 PM
1 Recommendation   of 66
SQ acquiring Afterpay, for $29B

Article not out yet

More later

Square Agrees to Acquire Afterpay for $29 Billion in All-Stock Deal

Australian installment-payment company positions its service as a cheaper, more responsible alternative to a credit card

Square said it expects its acquisition of Afterpay to close in the first quarter of 2022.PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

David Winning

Aug. 1, 2021 6:03 pm ET

Square Inc. SQ -3.14% has agreed to an all-stock deal worth around $29 billion to acquire Australia’s Afterpay Ltd. APT -5.28% , an installment-payment company that positions its service as a cheaper and more responsible alternative to a credit card.

Write to David Winning at

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From: quantinvestor8/9/2021 12:58:22 PM
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Incredibly bullish on SQ as they start to embrace crypto currencies and build their new bitcoin wallet. Huge fan of Jack Dorsey and the stock. Bullish!

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To: quantinvestor who wrote (53)8/9/2021 1:58:27 PM
From: Zen Dollar Round
   of 66
I'm not a fan of Jack Dorsey, but I am bullish on both SQ and TWTR.

More so on SQ.

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From: Sr K9/16/2021 2:22:10 PM
   of 66
Amazon Is Doing It. So Is Walmart. Why Retail Loves ‘Buy Now, Pay Later.’

Retailers big and small are using installment plans to wring more sales out of shoppers who can’t get credit cards

Shoppers spend more at Macy’s when they use installment plans offered through Klarna Bank, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said on a recent earnings call.PHOTO: GABRIELA BHASKAR/BLOOMBERG NEWS

AnnaMaria Andriotis

Sept. 16, 2021 5:30 am ET

Alexis Luedtke got her first “buy now, pay later” plan in 2019 after she was rejected for a credit card. She has used at least five more since to buy face cream, T-shirts and birthday gifts.

Installment plans are back in style. PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL +0.10%last week said it was buying Japanese installment payment startupPaidy Inc., following Square Inc.’s $29 billion deal for Afterpay Ltd. APT -0.06% Macy’s Inc. M +4.22% and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. BBBY +0.71% have added the option at checkout over the past year. Even Inc. AMZN +0.23% is doing it.

One reason: shoppers like Ms. Luedtke who don’t qualify for credit cards. Buy-now-pay-later companies say they rely less on—and in some cases bypass altogether—traditional credit scores and reports. Doing so allows them to approve more consumers. Shoppers gain the ability to buy things even without cash on hand—translating to higher sales for retailers.

Afterpay said it expects the company’s U.S. merchants will see an $8.2 billion increase in sales this year because of payment plans. Affirm Holdings Inc. AFRM +7.13% last year said purchases made with its payment plans were 85% larger, on average.

Shoppers spend more at Macy’s when they use installment plans offered through Klarna Bank AB, Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said on a recent earnings call. Klarna also is helping the retailer attract younger customers, he said.

“The value that most retailers see in buy now, pay later is customer acquisition,” said David Sykes, Klarna’s North America head.

Ms. Luedtke, 26, has credit cards now but still prefers installment plans. Just last month, she used them to buy about $40 of Peter Thomas Roth skin-care products and $65 in clothing from Shein.

“It definitely influences how much more I buy or would spend,” she said. “It’s easier to pay $200 over so many weeks compared to $200 right now.”

Buy now, pay later is a new twist on an old idea. Big retailers have for decades offered installment plans for big-ticket items like washing machines. Today, these plans come in a variety of flavors. Afterpay offers payment plans that shoppers usually attach to their debit cards. Others, like Affirm, also facilitate new loans.

Interest rates and other terms vary by payment-plan provider. Affirm interest rates range from 0% to 30%, with some 43% of its transactions during its last fiscal year not charging interest at all. The company doesn’t charge late fees. Afterpay doesn’t charge interest but does collect late fees.

Merchants take no credit risk with these plans, but the fees they incur can be higher than on credit-card purchases—often between 3% and 5% of the purchase price, according to people familiar with the matter.

Buy-now-pay-later companies say they can approve more customers than banks, including people who have thin or no borrowing history. Some 53 million adults in the U.S. lack traditional credit scores, according to FICO score creator Fair Isaac Corp. Installment plans are safer, they say, because they are often smaller than credit-card spending limits and approved on a per-transaction basis.

Affirm said that it had a net charge-off rate of 1% in the quarter ended June 30, down from 2% a year earlier. Afterpay said it wrote off 0.6% of the total dollars it processed in payments during the company’s fiscal year ended June 30, up from 0.4% the year prior.

Working with a web of retailers, buy-now-pay-later companies can create self-contained payment ecosystems. They factor payment behavior into future underwriting decisions. Customers who pay late or not at all risk losing the installment option at other participating retailers.

“Most merchants want a partner who has real advantage and real ability to underwrite,” said Affirm CEO Max Levchin. “These are not deeper approvals, but they are different approvals.”

Affirm facilitates new loans among other payment plans.ILLUSTRATION: AFFIRM
Amazon AMZN 0.28% and Walmart Inc. are both working with Affirm. Both have said they want their financial partners to extend credit to more of their customers.

Amazon is reviewing proposals, as it weighs whether to replace its longtime card issuer, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Amazon is looking for “commitments to underwrite competitively to widen the acquisition funnel,” the retailer said in a request for proposals reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

A desire to boost loan approvals was among the reasons Walmart in 2018 decided to end its decadeslong credit-card partnership with Synchrony Financial. (Capital One Financial Corp. now issues Walmart-branded credit cards.) The retailer made Affirm loans available to most of its customers the following year.

“Our goal is financial inclusion for all,” said Julia Unger, Walmart’s vice president of financial services.

Some banks now offer installment options on their credit cards. Citigroup Inc. saw a sevenfold increase in the dollar amount of credit-card purchases converted to installment loans in July, compared with the same month a year prior, said Gonzalo Luchetti, head of Citigroup’s U.S. consumer bank.

Synchrony, the largest U.S. store-credit-card issuer, will launch a buy-now, pay-later plan in October. Capital One will test out its own offering later this year, CEO Richard Fairbank said at a conference Monday.

Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are exploring adding installment plans on their credit cards, according to people familiar with the matter. Visa Inc. said it has been testing out ways for shoppers to check if they qualify for installment plans when they enter their card numbers at checkout.


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From: Glenn Petersen11/21/2021 6:24:27 AM
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Square Releases White Paper for Decentralized Bitcoin Exchange

Sure, you can buy Bitcoin on the Cash App run by Square. But what if you could swap it via a decentralized exchange built by Square?

By Jeff Benson
3 min read
Nov 19, 2021

In brief

-- Square is a financial payments company led by Jack Dorsey.

-- It has been working on a decentralized asset exchange since the summer.

Square, the financial services company helmed by Twitter's Jack Dorsey, wants to do more with Bitcoin than just allow people to buy it on its Cash App. It's working on a way to let people trade BTC and fiat on the type of decentralized exchange (DEX) that's common to Ethereum.

Square's TBD division, first announced in July, today released a white paper presenting tbDEX.

The white paper claims tbDEX is a "protocol for discovering liquidity and exchanging assets (such as bitcoin, fiat money, or real world goods)" safely without knowing the identity of other parties. Moreover, it says the protocol goes around financial intermediaries and other gatekeepers (such as centralized exchanges) that guard the borders between fiat and digital currencies.

While tbDEX is built around the concept of Bitcoin, it isn't necessarily built atop the Bitcoin blockchain. It's just a series of on- and off-ramps to BTC and other cryptocurrency networks. Where exactly the protocol lives isn't clearly stated in the highly-technical yet high-level white paper.

One big question is: Why not just use the infrastructure being built on Ethereum? The network, which utilizes smart contracts to allow for transactions beyond just currency, has decentralized exchanges and identity solutions ready to be built upon. And bridges exist between Ethereum and other networks. Yet it received zero mentions in the white paper.

The quick answer is that Dorsey is a big fan of Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency. He has repeatedly shown no interest in Ethereum and other currencies while professing love for BTC. “Whatever my companies can do to make it accessible to everyone is how I’m going to spend the rest of my life,” Dorsey said of Bitcoin this June. “If I were not at Square or Twitter, I would be working on Bitcoin. If it needed more help than Square or Twitter, I would leave them for Bitcoin."

Square has been part of the peer-to-peer payment revolution, making it easier for friends to send cash from their bank accounts or small vendors to take credit card payments. tbDEX would extend this mission into the crypto space—suddenly people wouldn't be sending cash held in bank accounts but from crypto wallets they themselves own.

But new entrants to the cryptocurrency space must first jump from the fiat to the digital world. That usually starts by buying crypto with a bank card on a centralized exchange such as Coinbase or Binance. Good luck, however, explaining to newbies how to manage the transfers and transaction fees necessary to get it into non-custodial wallets and then onto truly decentralized financial services where banks are out of the picture.

"It is still prohibitively difficult for the average person, starting with traditional fiat-based payment instruments, to directly access on-ramps and off-ramps into and out of the decentralized financial system," notes the white paper. "We need a better bridge into this future. The tbDEX protocol is directed at this problem."

You might say, then, that Square is working on DeFi for...squares.

Square Releases White Paper for Decentralized Bitcoin Exchange - Decrypt

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From: Glenn Petersen12/1/2021 6:35:23 PM
1 Recommendation   of 66
Jack Dorsey’s Square changes corporate name to Block

Kate Rooney @KR00NEY


-- Payments giant Square will change its corporate name to Block, effective Dec. 10.

-- The move comes as Square expands beyond its original credit card reader business, with a focus on new technologies like blockchain.

-- Square CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down from his role as Twitter CEO on Monday.

Square is renaming itself Block as it focuses on technologies like blockchain and expands beyond its original credit card reader business.

Jack Dorsey’s payments giant said in an announcement the new name, effective Dec. 10, “acknowledges the company’s growth” and “creates room for further growth.” Block will still trade under the ticker SQ on the New York Stock Exchange.

“We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs,” Jack Dorsey, cofounder and CEO of Block, said in a statement. “Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy.”

Dorsey co-founded Square in 2009 with a focus on in-person payments and its namesake card reader, which let people accept credit card payments on a smartphone. San Francisco-based Square has since added a peer-to-peer digital banking app, small business lending, received a bank charter and offers crypto and stock trading. The company has acquired buy-now-pay-later provider Afterpay and Jay-Z’s music streaming service Tidal. It’s also doubling down on bitcoin with a crypto-focused business called TBD.

As part of the Square rebrand, a separate part of the company “dedicated to advancing Bitcoin,” known as Square Crypto, will change its name to Spiral.

“The name has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome,” Block said in a statement.

Dorsey stepped down from his other job as Twitter CEO on Monday after running both Twitter and Square since 2015. Dorsey cited a belief Twitter was “ready to move on from its founders,” and will now have more time to dedicate to Square’s growing portfolio. But Dorsey is also expected to focus on his fascination with cryptocurrency.

The news comes roughly a month after Facebook changed its name to Meta to reflect on CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to build a virtual world called the metaverse. Google famously renamed itself Alphabet six years ago in a similar move to reflect other lines of business.

Square was one of the biggest winners of 2020 as consumers shifted to digital payments. Shares are down roughly 2% so far this year, as investors rotate away from higher-growth tech names.
Square changes corporate name to Block (

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From: Sr K12/2/2021 1:33:45 AM
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Square Changes Name to Block, Days After CEO Jack Dorsey Leaves Twitter

New name for financial-services company aligns with its chief’s interest in bitcoin and blockchain

Jack Dorsey has emerged as one of the highest-profile backers of bitcoin.PHOTO: MARCO BELLO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Paul Vigna

Dec. 1, 2021 4:30 pm ET

Square Inc., the financial-services company co-founded and led by former Twitter Inc. chief Jack Dorsey, is changing its corporate name to Block Inc.

The change will be effective later this month, the company said Wednesday. Its ticker symbol will remain SQ.

The move comes just days after Mr. Dorsey resigned as Twitter’s chief executive. He was serving as CEO of both companies.

What’s Next for New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal as Jack Dorsey Exits

0:00 / 1:49

What’s Next for New Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal as Jack Dorsey Exits

Twitter’s new CEO Parag Agrawal is stepping in as the company has struggled with growth while increasingly experimenting with new products. WSJ’s Laura Forman unpacks what direction the incoming leader could take the social-media platform next. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Square said the new name encompasses its various businesses better than the current name, which is mostly associated with its merchant-payment services. However, the new name also happens to align with Mr. Dorsey’s interest in cryptocurrencies and the technology behind them, called blockchain.

Mr. Dorsey has emerged as one of the highest-profile backers of bitcoin, and to an extent has used Square as a vehicle for that. “I don’t think there’s anything more important in my lifetime to work on,” Mr. Dorsey said at a bitcoin conference earlier this year.

The company holds about $220 million of bitcoin in its corporate treasury. Its CashApp business allows users to buy and sell bitcoin. In August, the company started a new unit aimed at building a blockchain-based exchange for trading crypto assets.

Mr. Dorsey was one of Twitter’s four founders. In 2009, he co-founded Square. Its first product was a mobile credit-card reader for merchants. While Twitter may have a higher profile, Square has become the more valuable company, with a market capitalization of about $92 billion compared with Twitter’s $35 billion.

Square’s earnings for the 12 months through September were $537 million on sales of $16.7 billion, according to FactSet. Twitter lost $181 million on sales of $5 billion in the same period.

Square is the second high-profile Silicon Valley company to change its name. In late October, Facebook changed its name to Meta PlatformsInc., saying the new name reflected its focus on virtual-reality products and platforms dubbed the “metaverse.”

Write to Paul Vigna at

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