CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, in an interview has revealed some details about his payment processing company Square’s rumored cryptocurrency project. The project started back in March when Dorsey hired a small team for cryptocurrency development.
Dorsey in the interview explained the rationale behind Square’s move to crypto. He argued that cryptocurrency is geared towards empowering users; it offers the users unbeatable levels of transparency and control which any other technology cannot give. He considers crypto as the logical step in the evolutionary journey of the internet. He added:
The internet for a long time has wanted a native currency. There hasn’t been a prospect until a few years ago when the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper was released.
On the subject of where Square fits into the whole cryptocurrency ecosystem, Dorsey argued that the company doesn’t look like an internet company by definition as an internet company is supposed to reach everywhere. With payments it gets tricky, there are government approval and a lot of other things to take care of. To become an internet company, Square would need to process a currency that is native to the internet ecosystem. He said:
“Just from a business perspective, we don’t look like an internet company today. An internet company can launch something, and it’s available around the world. Whereas with payments, you have to go to each market and pay attention to regulators. You need a partnership with a local bank. This is a very slow process in any new market. The Internet has a native currency will enable us to be more like an Internet company.”
“The one word that sums up everything we’ve been trying to do at Square is ‘access’. And I don’t think there’s a greater technology out there that enables the kind of access we need at the individual level – that is borderless, any one particular company does not control that, and that was born on the Internet, and continues to be developed on the Internet – than [cryptocurrency].“
Dorsey in the interview also acknowledged the bad things that have spawned because of the cryptocurrency’s decentralized nature. He called the crypto world “very Wild West like”; however, he doesn’t consider it as a deal breaker. He admits there are problems but the fundamental mathematics and the mechanics of cryptocurrency check out and that the problems are just temporary.
Dorsey’s Dream Team
In the interview, Dorsey revealed that he has hired ex-Google Director Steve Lee to lead the team involved in the project. Lee, who has also worked as a freelance startup advisor, calls himself a volunteer bitcoin project manager as the exec has been helping startups in the San Francisco Bay Area to understand bitcoin integration in their startups. Dorsey said that he interviewed a lot of candidates before he finalized Lee as his choice. The company announced his hiring through their official Twitter account.
Hey guys. Management again. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out with Gary. However, we think we’ve found somebody who can live up to his commitment to decentralization. Please welcome Steve Lee, aka @moneyball, to the Square Crypto team.
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) June 12, 2019
Steve is an angel investor, startup advisor, and former Director at Google. He is also a volunteer PM helping to drive bitcoin adoption through open-source development, UX, and storytelling. Sound familiar?
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) June 12, 2019
Dorsey said that he had taken responsibility for hiring the whole team and soon he’ll build the team as well as set a direction for the project. He said:
“We’re probably going to get five engineers and one designer. We went back and forth between each one of them working on whatever they want to work on, versus the whole team working on one thing. I think we’re going to go with the latter option, because we want to make some step changes to various aspects of the ecosystem, versus an iteration,”
Dorsey also highlighted that the team would especially work on security as there are still many flaws in the crypto community that pose a threat. The team is working on a secure platform for its users. He said:
Security is a big one. There’s still a number of big flaws within the Bitcoin community right now. Those are the most obvious ones, but there are a number of them.
There are a lot of skilled engineers working on cryptobut Square is looking at only a few engineers for his team. When asked how he selects the best ones from the pile and what it is that he is looking for in a candidate, Dorsey jokingly replied:
“We don’t want any jerks, there’s some negativity in the community, and we want to make sure that our people are good community stewards and pay attention to not just building code, but building community. That’s what makes this magical.”