Documenting Jack Dorsey's Pro-Bitcoin History

In November 2021, Jack Dorsey shocked the world as he announced his resignation from Twitter - the company he founded in 2006 and ran for most of its existence.

Documenting Jack Dorsey's Pro-Bitcoin History

Dorsey's exit was a surprise for most. While his position as Twitter's chief executive has been threatened before (he was even ousted at one point), many believed he was ready and committed to running his brainchild for a long time to come.

Now that Dorsey is gone, Twitter will have to adapt. But, crypto enthusiasts claim Dorsey's exit is bittersweet. For one, the billionaire was a big reason for Twitter's move in a pro-crypto direction, and he's made similar overtures at his other company, Square.

Dorsey was one of the first Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to embrace cryptocurrencies. And while he's left the company, it's worth noting how he helped shape Twitter's culture and morph the company into a crypto giant.

A Native Currency for the Internet

Dorsey's first public Bitcoin endorsement came in 2018. At the Consensus Blockchain Conference that year, Dorsey explained he believed the internet needs a specific currency.

While he didn't verify the type of currency, the billionaire claimed he hoped it would be Bitcoin. Dorsey went on to encourage people to "make it happen," signaling that his companies would also make moves to spur crypto adoption.

Just like that, the floodgates opened and Dorsey began his Bitcoin evangelism. In 2018, Cash App - the peer-to-peer payment service launched by Square - added support for Bitcoin and allowed people to send and receive Bitcoin payments seamlessly.

Cash App remains focused on Bitcoin transactions. In an earnings call, Square claimed 3 million people used Cash App for Bitcoin transactions in 2020. At the same time, almost a million people had made their first BTC transactions in January 2021.

There is little doubt that Square and Cash App will see better results from Bitcoin this year. Adoption has ramped up, and the payment processor is sure to benefit.

Bluesky: Decentralizing Social Media

A year into his Bitcoin evangelism, Dorsey made another shocking announcement - Twitter will take blockchain technology (the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies) and apply it to social media.

In a Twitter thread, the billionaire explained that Twitter had created a new research team for Bluesky - a decentralized and open-source social media platform.

"For social media, we'd like this team to either find an existing decentralized standard they can help move forward, or failing that, create one from scratch. That's the only direction we at Twitter, Inc. will provide," Dorsey said in part.

Bluesky has so far been a pretty silent project, and Twitter hasn't said much about the projects since. However, Dorsey tapped Parag Agrawal - Twitter's Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the time and the company's new CEO, as the project leader.

But, in August 2021, Jay Graber, a developer with experience in crypto and decentralized network architecture, announced he had joined Twitter to lead the Bluesky project.

Twitter Tipping and Twitter Crypto

In 2021, Dorsey continued his focus on crypto to help bring the asset to global prominence. While most of his efforts remained at Square (since crypto primarily helps make payments possible), he also made some overtures from Twitter.

Perhaps most notable is adding Bitcoin support to Twitter's Tip Jar feature. The addition came in September 2021, with Twitter users now able to link their Bitcoin wallets to their profiles and get funds from their followers and supporters.

The Tip Jar feature has been relatively successful. Twitter users can easily use it from their profiles, and support for Bitcoin was a step in the right direction for an app that is already known for hosting perhaps the largest crypto community in the world.

But, Dorsey and Twitter didn't stop there. In November of last year, the company tapped Tess Rinearson - a German software engineer - to lead its dedicated crypto team. Rinearson and Twitter Crypto will focus on helping the company embrace Web3 and improving decentralization and crypto use in different aspects of life.

"As I build out the team, we'll be working to figure out what crypto can do for Twitter, as well as what Twitter can do for crypto. Twitter truly "gets" crypto (hello bitcoin tipping & NFTs!) but there's so much more to explore here," Rinearson explained.

The team is just a few months old, but there is a lot of excitement surrounding its plans moving forward.

A Jack-less Twitter

With Dorsey gone, Twitter has built itself into a haven for crypto lovers. The billionaire successfully left his mark on the company and made it easier for Agrawal to pursue similar ambitions.

It's naive to think Dorsey's influence won't be felt going forward. His focus on crypto is one Twitter will want to keep.

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