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Cash App creator dies in San Francisco attack

Many in the fintech community paid tribute to their fallen colleague.

a person smiling in front of a bookshelf

Bob Lee/MobileCoin.

Bob Lee, the creator of Square’s Cash App, was killed in the Rincon Hill neighbourhood of San Francisco on Tuesday.

social media reports, Lee was stabbed in a random act of violence. He was 43 years old. 

Lee served as Square’s CTO, made contributions to Android and had a stint at Google as a software engineer. Most recently, he was employed as chief product officer at MobileCoin, a San Francisco-based blockchain payments startup.  

For all of his accomplishments, Lee’s legacy appears to be most closely tied to the kind of person he was, which according to those who knew him can be summed up as a “nice person” and friend to many.  

“For now, MobileCoin will mourn. We turn our attention to honoring Bob's legacy by holding his loved ones close," MobileCoin's CEO Joshua Goldbard said.

Bob Lee Our dear friend and colleague, Bob Lee passed away yesterday at the age of 43, survived by a loving family and collection of close friends and collaborators.

— MobileCoin (@mobilecoin)

Others from the fintech community were quick to respond to the tragedy. 

Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey has been silent on Twitter lately but addressed Lee’s death on another social media platform, Nostr. Dorsey called Lee’s death “heartbreaking,” saying that “Bob was instrumental to Square and Cash App. STL guy.” 

Elon Musk was among those to pay tribute to Lee, saying that he was “very sorry to hear that” and sharing that he too has been “severely assaulted.” Musk went on to describe the violent crime in San Francisco as “horrific,” saying that “even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.” 

He called on San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins for stronger action. Twitter headquarters are also located in San Francisco, much to Musk’s chagrin. 

Mayor Francis Suarez has

Musk to move Twitter’s headquarters to the South Florida city, where he says “It’s not about politics, it’s about the soul of our country.” 

Lee was walking in what was considered to be one of San Francisco’s “nicer” neighbourhoods, but crime has been escalating in the Northern California city. 

Companies have been hightailing it out of San Francisco in recent years for various reasons, chief among which has been the crime rate. 

A year ago almost to the day, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken shuttered its San Francisco headquarters. Then CEO Jesse Powell

, revealing that “numerous employees were attacked, harassed and robbed on their way to and from the office.” Powell declared that San Francisco was not safe and would not be without major change. 

Vacancy rates in San Francisco have been on the rise, reaching 27 per cent last year, up from 19 per cent in 2021, according to CBRE data. The city hasn’t experienced vacancy rates this high in decades. 

As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made in Lee’s death.

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