When you think of the company Square, “Bitcoin” and “cryptocurrency” are likely not the first words that come to mind.
Outside of the crypto industry, the company is best known for its point of sale terminals and smart credit card readers, which have become integral for many mom & pop companies spanning nations across the globe.
But make no mistake, the San Francisco-headquartered firm, which is headed by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, is quickly becoming an integral part of the Bitcoin industry.
This was solidified on September 19th, when Square’s cryptocurrency division, the fittingly-named Square Crypto, finished the creation of its “inaugural” developer team. Here’s why this new team, coupled with Square in general, is important for Bitcoin.
Square Bitcoin Dev Team To Drive Adoption
For those who missed the memo, on Thursday last week, Square Crypto finally finished the hiring process for its core group of Bitcoiners.
After a multi-month-long application process, during which over one thousand resumes were submitted to the company, the division announced that it had completed the hiring of three developers: Valentine Wallace, Jeffrey Czyz, and Arik Sosman.
Steve Lee. Matt Corallo. The guy who writes these tweets. If you thought we already had the bitcoin dream team, think again. Please welcome Valentine Wallace (🌀vallywal), Jeffrey Czyz (🌀jkczyz), and Arik Sosman (🌀arikaleph) to Square Crypto.
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) September 19, 2019
Wallace hails from Lightning Labs, one of the primary builders behind the Bitcoin scaling solution that shares the company’s name; Sosman from Facebook’s Libra team and custody provider BitGo; and Czyz from Google.
Square Crypto writes that these three, alongside legendary Bitcoin core developer and Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo, will comprise its “inaugural developer team”, which will work together to “grow the FOSS Bitcoin developer base with gifted new contributors”.
Although the team doesn’t have any concrete plans and projects yet, this team and its successors will be integral for the Bitcoin ecosystem. You see, whatever project the firm takes on, it will be one to make Bitcoin more usable for consumers.
As Square Crypto’s director, Steve Lee, wrote in an “Ask Me Anything” on Twitter earlier this year, “We are focusing on improving the Bitcoin experience for mainstream users. The user journey will always be central to our thinking.”
With the adoption of the cryptocurrency currently being rather limited due to technological constraints and a lack of infrastructure, Square’s products, which are already renowned and widely available, should only further the usability of Bitcoin.
Our goal is Bitcoin for all. We are focusing on improving the Bitcoin experience for mainstream users. The user journey will always be central to our thinking. – Steve https://t.co/yxHcOOKYkl
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) July 29, 2019
Integral for the Growth of Crypto
That’s not the only way in which Square will be important for Bitcoin.
First and foremost, Square’s Cash App has been and will continue to play a key role in the market dynamics of Bitcoin. According to the Q2 2019 results, Cash App sold $125 million worth of Bitcoin to consumers.
This is notable, as the estimated BTC taken off the market in Q2 by Square users amounted to 17,190 coins — around 10% of all Bitcoin mined in that period. With Bitcoin’s price largely being derived by scarcity, a single exchange gobbling up 10% of the inflation in and of itself shouldn’t be disregarded.
And secondly, Square’s products, namely its Cash App, will likely be integral for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. In the Q4 2018 edition of Square’s Shareholder Letter, the company revealed that Cash App had 15 million monthly active users (MAU).
This represents a 100% increase since Square last divulged this statistic, which occurred some time in late-2017.
What’s notable about this figure is once the next bull run graces the cryptocurrency market, Square will act as a major on-ramp for consumers that have yet to embrace Bitcoin.
Cash App’s easy-to-use, sleek, and barebones interface may quickly become a way for crypto newcomers to turn their digital pocket change into BTC, or maybe Cash App will fill another role once Square Crypto starts rolling out products.