Business

Steve Kaaru

Square hires former Google director as first member of its crypto team

Mobile payments services provider Square has announced Steve Lee as the first member of its crypto team. The San Francisco-based startup announced the former Google director on its Twitter page. It, however, didn’t disclose his role at the company.

Square Crypto, the company’s crypto division, has been looking to hire, with its founder and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey making the announcement in March. Dorsey stated that the company would hire 3-4 engineers and one designer. The team would work full-time on open-source contributions to the crypto ecosystem and could even work remotely.

Steve Lee has become the first member of the team. Square Crypto announced its first employee on Twitter, describing him as someone who can “live up to his commitment to decentralization.”

Square further described Lee as “an angel investor, startup advisor and former Director at Google. He is also a volunteer PM helping to drive bitcoin adoption through open-source development, UX, and storytelling.”

Lee has in the past served in Google’s product management team for nearly a decade. He led the Google Maps team and the Google X team and was also a key member of Google’s mobile applications division. He has also been an angel investor, listing ride hailing app Lyft and social media platform Pinterest as some of his exits. He holds stakes in Anchor Labs, Styleseat, Halo Neuroscience, Highlighter and more.

Since 2018, he has also been a SegWitCoin (BTC) contributor, helping the development team in coding, project management and communication.

Square has continued to make inroads into crypto, setting the record for its highest-ever revenue from the sale of BTC in Q1 this year. The company generated $65.5 million, a 25% increase from the previous quarter where it had generated $52 million. The achievement is commendable, given the state of crypto in the past one year. However, its profit margin is still small, generating only $832,000.

However, it’s still early days for the startup. Other financial startups that have offered crypto trading services have been wildly successful, even boosting their customer numbers. One of them is Robinhood which has become quite popular for young crypto enthusiasts. The company saw a huge increase in customer numbers after it began offering crypto services, overtaking its close competitor E*Trade in customer numbers last year.

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