Digital payments firm Square is building a Bitcoin hardware wallet, with CEO Jack Dorsey and hardware lead Jesse Dorogusker both confirming the plan on Twitter.
— jack (@jack) July 8, 2021
Dorogusker said on Twitter that Square wants to make Bitcoin custody more mainstream, and outlined the pathway for the hardware wallet rollout:
“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.”
Our next step is to build a small, cross-functional team, which will be led by @max_guise (welcome back!!). We will incubate this full-stack of tech, design, product, manufacturing, and supply chain with @templetonthomas & Square’s hardware team to start with a strong foundation.
— Jesse Dorogusker (@JesseDorogusker) July 8, 2021
Dorsey explained the term “assisted-self-custody” last month, noting that the firm is looking to provide a simplified experience for managing a hardware wallet.
“Custody doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. We can probably simplify custody through ‘assisted self-custody.’ Assisted requires great product design: minimal setup time, relying on existing devices, and end-to-end reliability,” he said.
As crypto has seen a massive uptick in speculation from new investors amid the growth of the sector over the past 12 months, the topic of crypto custody is becoming increasingly important.
Hardware wallets are one of the most secure ways to hold crypto-assets because they enable users to store their private keys and holdings on external offline devices. But average users complain they are complicated to learn how to use.
Storing funds on an exchange can be risky, as the user doesn’t have full control over their assets which can be lost to hacks or caught up in regulations.
Software wallets on computers or mobiles also face the risk of malware.