Bitcoin is deliberate, predictable, open, and transparent, features that set it apart from every other decentralized network in existence, said Jack Dorsey, the CEO of financial services company Block and ex-CEO of Twitter.
Dorsey joined Michael Saylor, CEO of software intelligence company MicroStrategy, for a conversation about Bitcoin, finance, Block, Twitter, and Facebook, now called Meta, in a Tuesday online event –– Bitcoin for Corporations.
When asked why Block, previously known as Square, is focusing each day more on Bitcoin, Dorsey responded that such a movement ties back to the origins of his company. Square began with a mission to make the financial system more inclusive to people and businesses being left out of the economy as credit card adoption skyrocketed, Dorsey explained. Now, the company is pivoting to embrace the open and transparent Bitcoin protocol to enable even greater financial access through permissionless and sovereign money, seeking to make bitcoin the native currency of the internet.
However, Bitcoin isn’t new at Square as Dorsey said the company integrated the digital currency in 2014, though the feature didn’t gather much traction at the time. A few years later, Square became the first publicly-traded company to talk with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about bitcoin, a challenging task that enabled it to add Bitcoin to their payments app Cash App.
“It challenged absolutely everything,” Dorsey said in the conversation with Saylor. “Security protocols, legal aspects, compliance, engineering, product.”
More recently, Cash App integrated LDK, an open-source product developed by Spiral, Block’s independent subsidiary focused entirely on open-source Bitcoin development, to add Lightning support to the mainstream app. Dorsey said this was one of the proudest moments of his career.
The conversation between Saylor and Dorsey also touched on how bitcoin could help corporations become more efficient in the global marketplace. Saylor explained that Bitcoin helps businesses reduce incompatibilities around monetary goods and enables total transparency in business-to-business transactions, something Dorsey agreed on. Block’s CEO said that the peer-to-peer currency differs from traditional finance as its policies and fees aren’t “in a black box” but rather open for everyone.
It's time to opt out of the current system and into something that is transparent, open, and for everyone, Dorsey said.
Dorsey also talked about empowering artists, a goal he’s trying to achieve through TIDAL, the music platform acquired by Block. The chief executive explained that even though NFTs currently attempt to do that, they are “the wrong answer” at the moment because they are not built on the best foundation.
Towards the end of the conversation, Dorsey touched on the corporate move by some to try and own the digital platforms instead of building on top of the open and permissionless Bitcoin network. He mentioned how Facebook, now called Meta, “wasted years” on their project to create a proprietary digital currency instead of using Bitcoin.