On a recent episode of the “Joe Rogan Experience” (JRE) podcast, Rogan interviewed Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square. During the conversation, Dorsey said that he believed that Bitcoin would eventually become the “native currency” of the Internet.
Towards the end of the interview, which was released earlier today, Dorsey started talking about the “Cash App”, the mobile payment service developed by Square, a FinTech company that Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey founded in 2009:
“For four years, it was just like a slug. A lot of people on the company wanted to shut down the thing. They saw it as something that wasn’t successful. Recently, the team reached #1 in the App Store in [the] United States. We were against all these incumbents like Venmo and PayPal, and it finally clicked, and it was just because we had the patience and the conviction around our belief.”
“And It’s a great app, too, and the ethics behind are fantastic too. We’re really thankful for the Cash App, especially my friend Justin Wren and his Fight for the Forgotten charity, that every time you use the code word JOEROGAN, $5 goes to that, and they’ve built two wells for pygmies in the Congo, they’ve raised thousands of dollars, and they’re building more wells right now… It’s really, really cool. We’re really really happy about that.”
“The population that we serve typically are under-served by banks or unbanked entirely. We are the bank account. But more importantly, they don’t have access to things like rewards… Just going to your favorite place and getting an instant 10% off is out of reach of most people because financial institutions don’t enable that, and they won’t even enable them to get in the door in the first place.”
A bit later, Rogan asked Dorsey:
“One of the things about the Cash app is that you can buy and sell bitcoin. Are you guys going to conider other forms of cryptocurrency as well?”
“Not right now. So, back to the Internet, I believe the Internet will have a native currency. It will have a native currency, and I don’t know if it’s Bitcoin, and I think it will [be] given all the tests that it’s been through, the principles behind it, how it was created… It was something that was born on the Internet, developed on the Internet, it was tested on the Internet. It is of the Internet. The reason we enabled the purchasing of bitcoin within the Cash App is, one, we wanted to learn about the technology, we wanted to put ourselves out there and take some risks, we are the first publicly traded company to actually offer it as a service, we are the first publicly traded company to talk to the SEC about Bitcoin and what that means, and it made us uncomfortable. We had to really understand what was going on, and that was critical and important.
And the second thing is that we would love to see something become a global currency. It enables more access. It allows us to serve more people. It allows us to move much faster around the world. And we thought we were going to start with how you can use it transactionally, but we noticed that people were treating more like an asset, more like a virtual gold, and we wanted to just make that easy, like the simplest way to buy and sell Bitcoin, but we also knew that it had to come with a lot of education, it had to come with constraints… like you can’t buy Bitcoin on the Cash App with a credit card. And we look for daytrading, which we discourage and shut down… We made a children’s book explaining what Bitcoin is…”
Rogan then asked Dorsey if there was any pushback against what Square was trying to do with the Cash App.
“Oh, yeah. You just look at some of the major banks and their consideration around Bitcoin. They all love blockchain because of the efficiencies it can create for their business and potentially new business lines… Blockchain is a distributed ledger… It’s basically a distributed database where the source of truth can be verified at any point around the network… there is no centralized control over it. And I think that is threatening. It’s certainly threatening to certain services behind banks and financial institutions. It’s frightening to some governments as well. I just look at this and [say] how do we embrace this technology, not react to it more from a threat standpoint, what does it enable us to do, and where does our value shift, and that’s what we should be talking about right now — how our value shifts, and there’s really always strong answers to that question, but if you’re not willing to ask the question in the first place, you will become irrelevant because technology will just continue to march on, and make you irrelevant…. We are doing that at Square and we are doing that at Twitter…”
Rogan then said:
“I couldn’t agree with you more. Cryptocurrency to me represents one of the more interesting discussions on the Internet. What is money? And why are we agreeing that it’s this piece of paper that the Federal Reserve prints?”
He later added:
“I am very excited by it. I’m also very excited by the fact that it’s only been around a short period of time, and it’s become a part of the global conversation.”