Ex-Googler Steve Lee just wrapped his first ask-me-anything session on Twitter for Square Crypto. As project lead, Lee fielded several questions about the company’s focus on Bitcoin and its role in cultivating mass adoption.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of payments company Square, launched Square Crypto in March, making Lee the first hire. Square, which also powers the Bitcoin-friendly Cash App, is betting big on Bitcoin and its potential to become the world’s global digital currency. Lee, who leads a team of eight, responded to a number of topics on the company’s plans.
On the company’s structure,
“Square Crypto is a separate organization from Cash App and the rest of Square. This is an open-source initiative designed to strengthen the bitcoin ecosystem.”
On Bitcoin development,
“This is a great way for us to give back to the community. We hope to build on the work of others such as @jfnewbery’s
On GRIN and other crypto projects,
“We are very, very pro-Bitcoin. There is more than enough work for us to do there. That said, we are open to emerging use cases and technologies that complement Bitcoin.”
On the company’s five-year plan,
“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.”
On Lee’s first introduction to Bitcoin,
“I immersed myself in bitcoin-core-dev on IRC, volunteered to help organize the CoreDev meetups, and have had the help of many welcoming developers.”
On the company’s milestones,
“We’ve received more than 1,500 resumes and are blown away by how much interest there has been. I can say that we are very close to onboarding our first developer. We think the community will approve.”
On Square merchants and Bitcoin integration as a payment option,
“You would have to ask Square. We are focused on open-source Bitcoin development. We do hope our work improves as many products and businesses as possible, including Square and its competitors.”
On new developments,
“First step is to build the team. We are aiming for one anchor dev with extensive Bitcoin development experience. Beyond that, we would like to grow the talent base contributing to the ecosystem.
The product we’re focusing on is Bitcoin. It has been up and running for over 10 years… but there’s still a lot that needs to be done before we reach mass adoption.
Our process is design-centric. This may lead to consumer UI, infrastructure, and protocol development. Some projects may be accomplished in 3 months and others may take 3 years. All will be done in coordination with the rest of the open-source Bitcoin community.”
On Bitcoiners who want true sovereignty,
“We agree with the self-sovereignty principles of Bitcoin. That said, we see the needs of current and future users overlapping. We want to make Bitcoin better for all.”
On community building and student involvement,
“It is important to not only support the current generation of Bitcoin developers, but to excite and inspire future developers to improve the ecosystem. Something at the university level like this is a great start.
We think it is really important to grow the number of organizations supporting core development. We will open-source our “operational playbook” (as we develop it) to help lower the barriers to entry for other companies.”
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