On Wednesday, Jack Dorsey’s Block (NYSE: SQ) updated customers and investors on its plans to develop a self-custody bitcoin wallet.
Self-custody wallets are integral in driving broader adoption of bitcoin because, due in part to the asset being young in financial market terms, there are limitations on how bitcoin can be used today. As Block points out, it’s still somewhat difficult to go to the grocery store to pay for food in bitcoin.
How self-custody wallets ameliorate that situation is easy to understand. That technology enables users to convert bitcoin to traditional fiat currencies, such as dollars, euros, or yen. Block noted it intends to work with partners to bolster its self-custody wallet offering.
“While we focused on our strengths (secure and easy-to-use mobile and hardware experiences distributed globally), we are looking to partner with safe and transparent companies that help customers buy and sell bitcoin around the world. We plan to partner with responsible, product-driven companies that have done the hard work to deepen their local fiat payment method reach and localize their onboarding experiences,” according to the fintech company.
California-based Block added that it’s focusing on the quality of partners rather than rushing to serve the entire world with an enhanced self-custody platform. That quality over quantity approach requires prospective partners to adhere to a specific set of standards before joining the Block ecosystem.
“We are looking for partners with excellent technical expertise and product design capabilities when it comes to sign-up and onboarding, payment flows, and API capabilities to ensure a seamless integration. Ideally, we work with partners who already have designed an API experience for other wallets to integrate their on/off ramp services, but we are also excited about working with companies who are interested in entering this space as we believe we can help with integration design while they focus on what they know the best: regulated onboarding and trading capabilities,” added the company.
Among the areas of emphasis are transparency for customers, ease of onboarding those clients, and openness regarding pricing plans. Elements of pricing include transaction fees and conversion/fee spreads.
Block is also evaluating payment partnerships as well as comparable arrangements on the retail and distribution fronts.
“Another objective of ours is to increase bitcoin’s use cases and relevance as a payment method by working with partners who also want to increase merchant acceptance of bitcoin and widen consumer adoption. This could look like point of sale partnerships with seller and merchant services, payroll partnerships, and many other types of partnerships,” concluded the company.
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