The American digital payment firm Square is looking into building a non-custodial hardware wallet for bitcoin, that would give consumers greater control over the cryptocurrency they own, the company’s chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said.
Bitcoin transactions have become a booming business for Square, which allows consumers to make purchases using the Cash App and store the currency digitally. Bitcoin revenue at the company climbed to $4.75 billion last year from $516.5 million in 2019.
Mr. Dorsey is proposing a new way for users to store their bitcoin so that it’s not controlled by Square or any other company. A bitcoin wallet could allow users to keep the cryptocurrency in a secure gadget and let them choose to spend it later.
Bitcoin wallets can be stored offline or online at cryptocurrency exchanges, venues where bitcoin can be bought and sold for traditional currencies or other virtual coins. With a non-custodial wallet, the user will have sole control of private keys, which in turn controls cryptocurrency owned by them. In a custodial wallet, another party controls your private keys.
Mr. Dorsey first made the announcement on Twitter, where he is also CEO and then gave some details at the Bitcoin 2021 conference held in Miami, US.
“We don’t want to compete with other hardware wallets out there. We just want to take it to the next level and get to 100 more million people, which have non-custodial solutions,” Mr. Dorsey said.
Square might be able to simplify how people hold bitcoin by creating “assisted self-custody,” which Mr. Dorsey said, would make it easy for customers to spend a certain percentage of available funds from their phone, while securing the rest of the money in the wallet.