Square to build hardware bitcoin wallet

9 Jul 2021

Image: © Gary L Hider/Stock.adobe.com

Jack Dorsey, a long-time crypto advocate, confirmed the company’s plans to build a hardware wallet for storing bitcoin.

Square, the payments firm headed up by Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, is moving ahead with making a hardware bitcoin wallet.

In June, Dorsey said that the company was considering developing its own hardware wallet for storing and using the cryptocurrency.

On Thursday (8 July), Square’s hardware lead Jesse Dorogusker confirmed it was putting the wheels in motion on these plans.

“We have decided to build a hardware wallet and service to make bitcoin custody more mainstream,” Dorogusker tweeted in a thread. “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 and inspiring.”

He added that Square has assembled a cross-functional team to design and build the new hardware product.

The wallet is expected to integrate with Square’s person-to-person payments app Cash App along with additional features. There is no indication of when Square’s hardware wallet will be released but it will enter the fray amid established competitors like Ledger.

Dorsey has long been an advocate for bitcoin with Square serving as an avenue to explore crypto on the side of its core payments business.

Users of Cash App have been able to buy and sell bitcoin through the app with Square reporting a significant uptick in revenue from bitcoin.

Its total earnings in the first quarter of 2021 saw the company book $5bn in revenue with $964m in gross profit, a significant increase year on year.

The company has benefited from the uptake of mobile, card and contactless payments in retail. Its main business is building hardware for accepting payments in store with the accompanying software for processing and providing analytics.

Square recently launched products in Ireland, its first EU market, and this week began a roll-out in France. It is also plotting a European launch for Cash App.

Earlier this year the company acquired Tidal, the music streaming service co-founded by Jay-Z.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin