Block’s overarching goal is to advance global economic empowerment, and Bitcoin plays a central role in that mission, CEOs said during the company’s first investor day since 2017 on Wednesday.
Amrita Ahuja, lead in finance at Block, said during the online event after a statement that the company has “believed that Bitcoin will have a profound impact on financial services, particularly as a tool for economic empowerment and as a global Internet currency” just “scratching the surface” to drive further Bitcoin adoption in the states. United and the world.
Ahuja shared her thoughts after Block President Jack Dorsey opened the event with an introductory board explaining the company’s broader goal and how it plans to achieve it.
Longtime Bitcoin supporter Dorsey said that Block’s approach is to create an “ecosystem of ecosystems” – with each business sector dedicated to building an ecosystem on itself that can not only expand, but also feed other ecosystems across the organization.
Cash and Spiral App – Case Study
The recent integration of the Cash App into the Lightning Network, a Bitcoin overlay protocol for faster and cheaper payments, is an example of how Block is seeking to have different business units produce products that can feed into each other.
The money transfer app has added support for Lightning payments through the Lightning Development Kit (LDK), a program developed by Spiral, an independent subsidiary of Block focused on developing and financing open source Bitcoin projects.
“Bitcoin is the best version of money,” said Spiral leader Steve Lee. “With our help, we believe it can become the world’s currency of choice.”
The Cash App was one of the first business units in the then Square company to integrate Bitcoin. Brian Grasadonia, head of the app, said at the event that the app added bitcoin buying and selling capabilities along with a customer-money-keeping solution in 2018.
Since the feature was launched, the Cash app has had more than 10 million monthly active users buying bitcoins in the app, and the spreads that Block charges on such purchases has become one of the major revenue drivers for Block. Ahuja showed that Cash App’s total earnings have grown 44 times since 2017.
The integration of Bitcoin into the Block business model has become more prevalent since Dorsey left his position as CEO of Twitter — and now goes beyond in-app bitcoin exchange.
An essential aspect of Block’s business is what it calls the Bitcoin ecosystem, which falls under the unfounded company’s “startup initiatives” such as Square or Cash App — which both have found fit for product market and have been able to scale their business model, according to Ahuja.
In addition to the previously mentioned Spiral, Block’s Bitcoin ecosystem consists of an open source business called TBD, a Bitcoin wallet, and the company’s mining initiatives.
Block strives to create a Bitcoin wallet for the masses, standardizing security and ease of use to make self-custodianship accessible to those new to Bitcoin.
The product aims to encourage ordinary people to hold the keys to their bitcoin funds rather than resorting to custodianship amid the more complex self-holding setups that are popular today. In the same way that Spiral’s LDK helps developers and companies integrate Lightning into their applications more easily, Block wants to make it easier for end users to self-book, explained Jesse Dorogosker, Head of Block’s Bitcoin Hardware Wallet.
“If you don’t have the key, you don’t have the money,” Dorogosker said. “We want to build a safe and easy way for people to hold their bitcoins. Our wallet divides the secret key into three parts: a mobile app, a device, and a self-service recovery tool.”
The company is seeking to avoid individual points of failure with this approach, which it claims can improve user experience around bitcoin self-booking — which is currently around 12 or 24 raw words.
ASIC Bitcoin Mining
Block’s Bitcoin projects also extend to the mining industry.
The company said it is focusing on creating an open system that will reduce the focus around Chinese ASIC chip manufacturers for bitcoin mining. Dorogusker said the approach – an open source setup – has the potential to reduce risk and increase competition.
“We want to build our own Bitcoin ASIC,” explained Dorogusker, who also leads the mining initiative. “ASICs will be available for sale and they will all be open source.”
The company had previously stated that it would develop an open platform for bitcoin mining, and a job was spotted by Block in January looking for a “next generation” bitcoin mining ASIC production team. However, this was the first time the company had shared that it would produce an actual Bitcoin ASIC which would be open source.
decentralized bitcoin exchange
In addition to the bitcoin wallet and bitcoin miner, Block is also working to connect the world of traditional finance to the thriving system through its TBD crypto module.
“TBD’s job is to connect the old with the new,” said TBD Leader Mike Brock. “We are building a new open source company from the ground up that focuses on open protocols and open standards that all participants in the economy can benefit from. What Red Hat has done for Linux, TBD can do for money, payments and identity.”
Brook went on to explain that under the “legacy” model, which relies on centralized entities, 1.1 billion people are unable to establish their identities. TBD wants to provide a secure and decentralized identity standard to not only enable these customers to benefit from a more fair and accessible protocol but also for businesses to lower their costs.
“With the new financial system, you can create your own digital identity and use all those services that require identity verification,” Brooke said. “You can also create a digital wallet to hold bitcoins or stablecoins, and you can convert stablecoins to bitcoin directly without leaving the app because it is built into tbDEX.”
When Dorsey asked him why he believed in bitcoin, Brooke said, “If we have a genuine online currency, we need trust, and trust comes from time, openness, and transparency, principles that are embodied in the bitcoin system.” in the first place.
“We are building a network that provides better financial access experiences around the world,” Brooke said in closing.
From companies to consumers
Just as Square caters to business and targets its consumer cash application, Block’s Bitcoin Ventures seeks to offer a comprehensive suite of solutions that collectively empower retail and institutional investors in a decentralized and digital economy.
Amid a sea of early Bitcoin initiatives, most details remain unknown as the company takes steps toward building its products through repetition between reflection and gathering feedback from the community. It remains to be seen whether Dorsey will be able to move the company’s ship to promote economic empowerment through open Bitcoin systems outside of Spiral’s independent work.