Square, the digital payments company founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, is building a hardware wallet for bitcoin.
The announcement was made on Twitter: “We have decided to build a hardware wallet and service to make bitcoin custody more mainstream”, Jesse Dorogusker, the head of hardware at Square, tweeted.
“We have a lot of questions and issues to reconcile and we’ll start with this product direction: bitcoin first, global distribution, multisig to achieve ‘assisted-self-custody,’ and prioritizing mobile use.”
Mr Dorsey quote-tweeted the thread, adding “We’re doing it #Bitcoin”.
— jack (@jack) July 8, 2021
Bitcoin wallets are used to store cryptocurrency with a private key for greater security, and are the most secure way of holding the digital money as they have to be physically plugged into a computer or phone to access.
In a thread from June, Mr Dorsey set out some of the specifications of the wallet: it would be focused on smartphone users, because “most people access the internet on mobile” and would “make it easy for customers to keep the funds they want quick access to at their fingertips, spendable with phone-only permissions”.
It is also possible the wallet will not have a screen, as a small display is unlikely to increase security and likely to reduce reliability, as well as increasing the price, Mr Dorsey continued.
Mr Dorsey has been a long-time advocate of cryptocurrency, at one point spending thousands of dollars a week on bitcoin in 2019, due to his belief that it could disrupt payment systems and the broader financial industry – maxing out the $10,000 spending limits on his company’s application Cash App in those weeks.
He also set up a bitcoin node to support the underlying network of the cryptocurrency in February 2021. “I think there’s a massive acceleration that’s going to happen within the next 10 years,” he has said, and that he was looking for ways to better support the bitcoin community.
“I don’t wait around for that to happen to me or to us as a company [Square], I want to help make it happen. To me , it all goes back to the internet. What does the internet want to be? It wants a currency, it’s always wanted a currency, it just hasn’t had the technology until 10 years ago.”