Is Bitcoin on the path to becoming the default currency of the Internet? Jack Dorsey certainly thinks so.
The CEO of Square recently sat down with Elizabeth Stark of Lightning Labs at Consensus 2018 in New York to talk about his company’s plans for the digital currency.
During Wednesday’s chat, Dorsey said that “I’m just approaching with the principle that the Internet deserves a native currency. It will have a native currency. I don’t know if it will be bitcoin.”
Dorsey went on to add that:
“I hope it will be bitcoin. I’m a huge fan.”
He does admit that the idea that bitcoin will someday be the basis for all payments made on the Internet remains a large topic of debate at Square.
“We’ve led with that mindset. But there’s still a lot of skepticism and a lot of debate and a lot of fights. But that’s where the magic happens, where creativity happens,” he continued.
Despite controversy, Dorsey argues that the vision of open access that bitcoin inspires is important to the role Square has always played in the payments industry. “Any payment that comes across our table, the seller should be able to accept,” he emphasized.
When Dorsey first began thinking about how to implement bitcoin payments into the Square platform with Mike Brock, an engineer at the company, the two initially settled on a simple goal.
Either one of them, he reasoned, should be able to walk over across the street and buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin without the transaction looking any different than a regular dollar-denominated payment, perhaps without the cashier even knowing that bitcoin was being used.
Dorsey said the team had a working solution within a week.
“It felt amazing. It felt electric. And it felt like something we needed to explore a lot more,” he said.
Square has yet to build a full bitcoin payments solution for merchants and consumers, however, as it quickly changed direction to work on a buying-and-selling service to be integrated into its Cash App. But Dorsey said that the goal remains the same.
“We want to go back to that original idea of being able to purchase a coffee with it. And that’s why we’re working with [Lightning Labs],” said Dorsey. “Whatever it takes to get there, we’re going to make sure it happens.”
Dorsey – who counts himself as a fan of the hacker ethos surrounding bitcoin’s rise to fame – claims that whatever path Square takes to pushing mass adoption of bitcoin payments, they will do so without threatening the openness of the network.
“There’s so much openness in the community, and I want to make sure nothing in the corporate world threatens that,” he stated, going on to say:
“We cannot risk hurting what made this possible to begin with … We can’t do any of this without the technology being strong and available for everyone.”