Earlier this year, Square CEO Jack Dorsey wrote a convoluted Twitter thread to explain his interest in a hardware Bitcoin wallet—a physical device that holds your cryptocurrency. Now, Square’s hardware lead Jesse Dorogusker says that the company is developing such a product to help crypto go “mainstream.”
Square is best known for its point of sale systems, specifically the credit card scanners that plug into iPhones and iPads. But the company provides a wide variety of financial services, including Cash App, a money transfer and investment app that allows users to buy Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Cash App has already helped to “mainstream” crypto a bit, as it provided many people with their first trading experience during the recent Dogecoin boom (and subsequent bust). But Square as a company, and especially its CEO Jack Dorsey, seem a lot more interested in Bitcoin. Dorsey’s Twitter bio contains nothing but the word “#bitcoin” and, during a recent House hearing focused on social media misinformation (Jack Dorsey is also the CEO of Twitter), he sat in front of a “Bitcoin clock.”
It’s unclear how the Square hardware Bitcoin wallet will work, but Jack Dorsey suggests (in the most confusing language possible), that the device would be fully secured from hackers and built from scratch with community support. Mobile integration would also be a sticking point, which raises a question—why bother with a physical Bitcoin wallet when it needs to be managed from your phone?
Hardware wallets may be a dead end for cryptocurrency, especially at a time when many people are transitioning to solutions like Apple Pay. But there’s clearly a demand for such products, as several companies are developing or actively selling hardware crypto wallets. How Square sets itself apart from competing products enough that it can “mainstream” crypto—well, that remains to be seen.