Jack Dorsey’s Square reports Q1 bitcoin revenue grew 1,000% to $3.5 billion – and is the 3rd-largest corporate holder of the cryptocurrency

Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey.

  • Square’s bitcoin sales volume surged 1,000% year-on-year in the first-quarter, the company said.
  • Overall revenue was $5.06 billion, handily beating analyst expectations of $3.37 billion.
  • Jack Dorsey said Square views bitcoin as “the internet’s potential to have a native currency.”
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Square reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates on Thursday, powered by surging demand for bitcoin.

Quarterly revenue from bitcoin grew eleven times to $3.5 billion, from $306 million a year ago, the company said in a shareholder letter. But gross profit from these transactions were only $75 million, or about 2% of bitcoin revenue, making up Square’s fee generation from sales.

Square profits from transaction fees that customers are charged with when they buy or sell cryptocurrencies on its platform, which is smaller in comparison to revenue generated.

cash app
Square’s Cash App.

Overall quarterly sales for the digital-payments firm came in at $5.06 billion, beating analyst forecasts for $3.37 billion. Net income for the quarter was $39 million, or 8 cents per share. Gross profit more than doubled by rising 79% year-on-year to $964 million.

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The company announced a boosted bitcoin stake in February, having invested an additional $170 million. That accounted for about 5% of its total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

With that investment, Square bought an additional 3,318 bitcoin at an average price of $51,235.68. It had bought 4,709 bitcoin for $50 million in October 2020, currently worth about $263 million.

Square now holds 8,027 bitcoin, according to bitcointreasuries.org, worth about $448 million. That makes it the third-largest publicly-traded holder of the digital asset after MicroStrategy and Tesla.

“We see bitcoin as the internet’s potential to have a native currency, and we want to further that as much as we can.” CEO Jack Dorsey said during an earnings call. “Our focus is enabling bitcoin to be the native currency. It removes a bunch of friction for our business, and we believe fully that it creates more opportunities for economic empowerment around the world.”

Square counted more than 10 million monthly active users of its Cash Card in the quarter. About seven million active users, on average, used its Cash Cards every week in March.

Square’s shares rose 2.5% to $229.55 per share in pre-market trading on Friday.

Bitcoin was last trading 1% lower on Friday, at around $55,800 per coin, but is up 89% so far this year.

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Bank of America’s CHRO Sheri Bronstein shares how she led a crisis response for the bank’s 200,000 employees

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Sheri Bronstein
Sheri Bronstein, chief human resources officer at Bank of America.

  • Bank of America did not make any layoffs or reduce hours during the pandemic.
  • The bank retrained over 20,000 employees for new roles while 85% of the company worked remotely.
  • CHRO Sheri Bronstein shared her approach during this time and what she learned from the experience.
  • This article is part of a series highlighting high achievers in HR called “Most Innovative HR Leaders.”

The past year presented a completely new set of obstacles for Bank of America’s Chief Human Resources Officer Sheri Bronstein. When 85% of the bank’s 200,000-person staff went fully remote, Bronstein’s team was tasked with making sure workers felt secure financially, emotionally, and physically while working during the public health crisis.

“2020 led to more discussions and immediate actions among myself and fellow C-suite executives than ever before,” Bronstein told Insider.

Bronstein was named one of Insider’s 2021 HR Innovators for how her 2,600-person team supported workers over the past year. Bank of America did not make layoffs or reduce hours; instead, it increased its minimum wage to $20 an hour, expanded benefits for working parents, retrained 23,000 employees, and is making progress in representation and pay equity.

The financial services giant saw a decline in revenue during the pandemic but beat analysts’ expectations during its most recent earnings report. The bank’s stock price currently sits higher than its pre-pandemic peak and is on the rise after a promising Q1.

Investments in childcare, bonuses, and DEI

Bank of America provided $300 million in childcare reimbursement and an additional 10 days of backup child or adult care, on top of the 40 they already give, to every employee. Its $6 million relief fund provided grants to those with emergency financial hardships and regular coronavirus PCR tests were offered to employees working in offices or retail branch locations. The company also gave employees a one-time $750 bonus for their work during the pandemic.

Bronstein joined over 40 meetings with institutional investors to discuss the company’s workforce strategy including diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). She shared her feedback from these meetings with Bank of America’s Board of Directors.

“This ongoing, two-way dialogue clarifies and deepens the Board and management’s understanding of shareholders’ concerns; in turn, I believe these conversations have led to increased transparency with a focus on workplace diversity and equal pay for equal work,” Bronstein said.

Bank of America has made some progress improving diversity among its ranks. Half of the bank’s global management team is diverse and 54% of the company’s campus hires in 2019 were people of color, according to its most recent Human Capital Management report.

The company also has a new analytics platform for tracking diversity that helps to hold managers and hiring teams accountable, Bronstein said.

In 2020, her team introduced new toolkits to help employees to hold conversations for the purpose of deepening their “understanding through self-education of people’s differences,” she explained. More than 165,000 employees participated in 320 of these conversations, which are meant to be a space for workers to share their experiences with inequity.

“I’ve found that two of the most important skills in HR are having empathy and understanding the power of listening,” Bronstein said. “More often, our society places value on what we project, rather than what we absorb. While there are endless elements of our current reality that we can’t control, I’ve found that the best way to empower our teammates during the pandemic is to create an open dialogue, listen, and acknowledge their concerns.”

Read the original article on Business Insider