As the Consensus 2018 blockchain conference came to a close yesterday, much excitement was abound for the "Fireside Chat" with Twitter and Square CEO, Jack Dorsey. Moderating the chat was Lightning Labs CEO and fellow Bitcoin enthusiast, Elizabeth Stark. Much of the conversation focused around Square's Cash App, and even more so on the Cash Card.
Square's Cash Card is linked to a user's Cash App account, and allows one to not only add fiat currency, via a verified bank account, but also to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin. Dorsey and Square engineer, Mike Brock, sought to integrate their customers' USD balance and their Bitcoin holdings to be used on Square's Cash Card, intent on making paying with Bitcoin as simple and fluid as paying with fiat currency. Last week, Dorsey and Brock engaged in a 'hackathon' to iron out the plan, and make this feature functional, ahead of his scheduled chat at Consensus 2018. Dorsey explained:
"We worked all week—he mainly did the work—but we ran into deployment issues, so we didn’t get the goal on Friday. But we did get it on (the next) Tuesday (...) It felt amazing, it felt electric, and it felt like something we needed to explore a lot more."
The purchase testing ground for the use of the Cash Card with Bitcoin was transacted 'across the street' at Blue Bottle, for a cappuccino. This purchase is symbolic of a long-standing trope of being able to use Bitcoin to buy something as simple and arbitrary as coffee; to which Dorsey has found 'electric' success.
Doubling down on his March declaration, "The world ultimately will have a single currency; the Internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be Bitcoin.”, by similarly stating to moderator, Elizabeth Stark:
"The Internet is going to have a native currency so let’s not wait for it to happen; let’s help it happen. I don’t know if it will be Bitcoin, but I hope it will be."
While the feature to spend your Bitcoin balance via the Cash Card is not yet available to users, Square engineer Mike Dorsey, now leads a team of engineers, based in Sydney, to build the feature into the Cash App, and subsequently, the Cash Card. Dorsey also admitted that the incorporation of Bitcoin to Square's app has been a point of contention with some members of their board, but explains that:
“We have a lot of healthy skepticism in the company and a lot of people were certainly skeptics of this technology (...) we have healthy debates about cryptocurrency."
Dorsey believes that if Bitcoin were useable on Square's app today, they would then be able to release their app in app stores globally, expanding on the only five app stores in which the Cash App is currently available.