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Square Seeks Community Input on Bitcoin Hardware Wallet

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Square is considering building a Bitcoin hardware wallet to encourage non-custodial bitcoin storage, as Square chief executive and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed in a Twitter thread on Friday.

While the firm has not yet decided if and when it will introduce such a wallet to the market, Dorsey wants the project to happen in line with Bitcoin's open-source nature:

If we [built a hardware wallet], we would build it entirely in the open, from software to hardware design, and in collaboration with the community.

While there are a number of hardware wallets on the market today, few have managed to gain the trust of a large group of Bitcoin users, and all of them come with similar designs and functionalities. The question of how to make the transfer and storage of bitcoin more intuitive and user-friendly and promote the use of non-custodial solutions has been around for years.

At this point in time, the firm behind Cash App seeks input from Bitcoin users on various aspects of the non-custodial storage of funds and ease of use of wallets, and it becomes clear: Dorsey wants to accelerate the move towards more user-friendly Bitcoin wallet solutions.

The questions Dorsey seeks to answer with the help of the Twitter community include that of what holds back further adoption of non-custodial storage options. "The exchange you used to buy your bitcoin probably attends to your security with good intent, but circumstances may reveal 'custody' actually means 'IOU,'" Dorsey wrote, asking for the usability problems that come with non-custodial storage.

A possible approach according to the Square CEO: "assisted self-custody." While Dorsey didn't detail exactly what such an option may look like, he named minimal setup time as well as little reliance on existing devices as some of the product design features required to make this solution work.

Other community questions center around the topic of mobile usage. "An uncompromising focus on mobile interaction is likely to include the most people," he wrote. In addition, Square seeks to explore ways to make reliance on third party providers optional to cater to both the users looking to "lean on" said providers and those who prefer no middlemen.

Yet such an app wouldn't necessarily have to be built by Square, according to Dorsey: "We can imagine apps that work without Square and maybe also without permission from Apple and Google. You?"

Twitter users are welcome to share their opinions in Dorsey's thread; the Twitter chief executive, one of the first tech CEOs to openly advocate for Bitcoin, also announced the launch of a GitHub should Square decide to start working on a hardware wallet.

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Thomas is a journalist at the BTC Times. He enjoys writing about Bitcoin, learning about Bitcoin, and HODLing bitcoin.