The hardware wallet will by no means be Square’s first dive into the cryptoverse. Square’s Cash App enables users to buy and sell crypto.
Digital payments system Square confirmed on Thursday that it would build a Bitcoin hardware wallet. On June 4, Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed that Square was considering building a hardware wallet. On Thursday, Jack and Square hardware lead Jesse Dorogusker confirmed that the company has decided to move go ahead with the plan.
“We have decided to build a hardware wallet and service to make bitcoin custody more mainstream,” Dorogusker said. “We’ll continue to ask and answer questions in the open. This community’s response to our thread about this project has been awesome – encouraging, generous, collaborative, & inspiring.”
— jack (@jack) July 8, 2021
Bitcoin hardware wallets are like a flash drive, but for crypto. They are known as cold storage because they allow users their crypto and private keys offline (cold) as opposed to online (hot). Users can only access their crypto when they connect their wallets to a device with internet access. Unlike a custodial wallet, most of which are web-based and controlled by a third party, non-custodial wallets grant a user complete control over their funds and private keys.
The most popular Bitcoin wallets manufacturers are Ledger and Trezor. Ledger, for instance, has sold more than 3 million wallets, has 1.5 million active users per month and claims to store about 15% of crypto assets worldwide. Evidently, Square has some stiff competition in the two.
The hardware wallet will by no means be Square’s first dive into the cryptoverse. Square’s Cash App enables users to buy and sell crypto. This could translate into a ready market for the hardware wallets. On the hardware front, the company has a produced terminals and chip readers for point-of-sale payments.
Dorsey is a known crypto ally and has been vocal about it. Even his Twitter bio simply says “#bitcoin”. He was also in attendance at this year’s Bitcoin conference in Miami.
Square is also, not surprisingly, Bitcoin-friendly. The company has over 8,000 BTC on its balance sheet.
In a statement in February, the company stated that it “believes that cryptocurrency is an instrument of economic empowerment, providing a way for individuals to participate in a global monetary system and secure their own financial future.”