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Block Says Its $207M In Bitcoin Bets Yielded Solid Gains Last Quarter

source-logo  decrypt.co  + 1 more 23 February 2024 01:28, UTC
Block, the fintech firm led by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, made $66 million in gross profit on its Bitcoin sales last quarter through Cash App—a 90% increase year over year.

The company’s fourth-quarter 2023 earnings report was released on Thursday, prompting a stock price rally for NASDAQ:SQ, up 12.35% in after-hours trading to $76.10, from $67.96 when the markets closed.

“The total sale amount of Bitcoin sold to customers—which we recognize as Bitcoin revenue—was $2.52 billion, up 37% year over year,” the report explained. “The year-over-year increase in Bitcoin revenue and gross profit was driven by an increase in the average market price of Bitcoin as well as a benefit from the price appreciation of our Bitcoin inventory during the quarter.”

In late 2020 and early 2021, Block invested $50 million and $170 million in Bitcoin, respectively. By the end of 2023, the firm held 8,038 Bitcoins worth around $340 million on its balance sheets. Block said today that it was recognizing a $207 million gain from this investment for the fourth quarter of 2023.

A lot of those Bitcoin sales were made via smartphones: Block said its mobile Cash App generated $205 million in Bitcoin gross profit and $9.50 billion of Bitcoin revenue in 2023, up 31% and 34% year over year, respectively.

“The biggest driver is going to be easy, connected banking features that just work and that people can trust,” Dorsey said. “We want to make sure that people see Cash App as reliable, as dependable, as something that they trust their money with—and the full direct deposit of their paycheck with.”

For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2023, Block revenues increased to $9,498,302, representing 33.54% growth from the previous year's $7,112,856. However, comparing 2022 to 2021, revenues had fallen by 28.96% a year ago, from $10,012,647 to $7,112,856.

After Block’s third-quarter earnings report in November, Block stock rose 20% to $52 a share after better-than-expected earnings news. At the time, Block reported the company’s total net revenue reached $5.62 billion in the third quarter of 2023, $2.42 billion of that from the Cash App.

“Improvement from the third quarter was driven by a number of factors, including an increase in Bitcoin gross profit from pricing changes implemented during the quarter,” Block COO and CFO Amrita Ahuja said during the earnings call.

While most of the call focused on the Cash App, Dorsey emphasized artificial intelligence's increased role in future financial services.

“[AI] is going to be extremely impactful for us as we look at everything that we're doing, and all the tools that we're building and how much more productive,” Dorsey said. “[AI] allows us to learn much faster, allows us to ship faster, allows us to correct mistakes much faster, and really be ahead of the market, where we think our strength is, which is creativity and bringing all these very complex systems together.”


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