Block, under the guidance of Jack Dorsey, has recently caught the attention of bitcoiners with the introduction of Bitkey, a hardware wallet designed for Bitcoin storage. Now, the company has announced the availability of Bitkey for preorders in over 95 countries, marking a significant step towards global accessibility. Priced at $150 in the U.S., this hardware wallet package includes the device itself, a charging cable, a user-friendly mobile app, and essential recovery tools.
Related reading: The Block Kicks off New BitKey Wallet’s Beta Testing
Bitkey: Emphasizing Security and Accessibility
The initial revelation of Bitkey occurred in March 2022. The Bitkey wallet sets itself apart by prioritizing user security. It employs a two-of-three multisig authentication mechanism, empowering users with control over two keys – the mobile app and the hardware device.
The third key is securely stored on Bitkey’s servers, ensuring the safety of customers’ assets. Block highlights the wallet’s capability to handle scenarios where a user loses their phone or hardware device, ensuring they do not lose access to their bitcoin.
In a statement, Lindsey Grossman, the Head of Business for Bitkey, expressed:
“People holding Bitcoin on exchanges and custodial platforms today are often hesitant to move to self-custody wallets because they are nervous about making mistakes, especially with the historical requirement that you must safely guard 12 or 24-word long passwords called ‘seed phrases,’”
Block’s Vision and Commitment
This move aligns with Jack Dorsey‘s staunch advocacy for Bitcoin. Despite Bitcoin wallets not being a primary revenue stream for Block, Dorsey’s commitment remains unwavering. The company’s primary earnings stem from its Cash App and Square business payments solutions. However, the integration of Bitcoin into Cash App in 2018 highlighted Dorsey’s foresight regarding digital currency’s role in finance.
Partnerships and Future Features
Block has partnered with Coinbase and its Cash App to facilitate easy Bitcoin transfers to the hardware wallet. While integration of transfer capabilities from Coinbase and Cash App into the hardware wallet are on the horizon, additional features will be introduced progressively.
Bitkey signifies a shift towards self-custodial wallets, emphasizing user autonomy and security. Jack Dorsey stated in a tweet that he aims to alleviate users’ concerns about managing their own bitcoin, making the transition from custodial platforms more seamless.
Interestingly, Elon Musk commented on Dorsey’s tweet, stating:
“Not your keys, not your wallet, as they say”
Which seems to be an attempt at reminding users of the famous saying in bitcoin “Not you keys, not your coin.”
A Paradigm for Inclusive Finance
The wide availability of Bitkey in diverse global markets shows Block’s commitment to democratizing financial access worldwide, especially in developing countries. The company’s vision aligns with Bitcoin’s potential to address significant global economic and payment challenges.
Thomas Templeton, the head of the Proto team responsible at Block for building the wallet, remarked:
“The bitcoin decentralized payments network has the potential to create a more inclusive financial system for all, especially those who have traditionally been underserved. In the future, we believe customers will demand ownership and self-custody because it brings peace of mind, reduces dependence on any one entity, and puts individuals in control of their own bitcoin.
With Bitkey, we are building a safe and easy way for people all around the world with different levels of experiences with bitcoin to take control of their finances on their terms.”
Block’s Bitkey hardware wallet emerges as a secure and user-friendly solution, catering to both seasoned Bitcoin users and novices. With a focus on security, global accessibility, and user empowerment, Block is poised to play a pivotal role in advancing the adoption of Bitcoin and self-custodial wallets worldwide.