I disagree with everybody who told you that the first logo is the way to go. My reasoning isn’t even about the readability but more-so about the uniqueness of the mark itself. There was a time where the looped letter intertwining effect was huge and everyone was using it…reference the below link for a tutorial from 2008 loosely based on the effect:
I like where you are going with the block symbol and it could definitely work well with some tweaking. Have you considered cutting out a corner to make more of a “J” shape and make the block your initial?