Square Crypto, the division of payments solutions provider Square that is focused on open source Bitcoin development, announced on Tuesday (August 20) that it had hired legendary Bitcoin developer Matt Corallo.
The first mention of Square Crypto came on March 20 when Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey sent out the following tweet:
#BitcoinTwitter and #CryptoTwitter! Square is hiring 3-4 crypto engineers and 1 designer to work full-time on open source contributions to the bitcoin/crypto ecosystem. Work from anywhere, report directly to me, and we can even pay you in bitcoin! Introducing @SqCrypto. Why?— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) March 20, 2019
In the tweets that followed, Dorsey explained the motivation for creating this new team:
- "This will be Square’s first open source initiative independent of our business objectives. These folks will focus entirely on what’s best for the crypto community and individual economic empowerment, not on Square’s commercial interests. All resulting work will be open and free."
- "Square has taken a lot from the open source community to get us here. We haven’t given enough back. This is a small way to give back, and one that’s aligned with our broader interests: a more accessible global financial system for the internet."
Then, on June 12, Square Crypto announced that Steve Lee, a former director at Google, had been hired to be the manager of this division:
Hey guys. Management again. Unfortunately, things didn't work out with Gary. However, we think we've found somebody who can live up to his commitment to decentralization. Please welcome Steve Lee, aka @moneyball, to the Square Crypto team.— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) June 12, 2019
On July 29, Lee held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session via Square Crypto's Twitter account.
During this AMA session, the Square Crypto PM explained the focus of this group and its relation to the rest of Square:
You would have to ask Square. We are focused on open-source Bitcoin development. We do hope our work improves as many products and businesses as possible, including Square and its competitors. - Steve https://t.co/cLNCcVLGpT— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) July 29, 2019
Square Crypto is a separate organization from Cash App and the rest of Square. This is an open-source initiative designed to strengthen the bitcoin ecosystem. - Stevehttps://t.co/V2MjUKWwht— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) July 29, 2019
When asked how Square Crypto planned to support Bitcoin Core developers, Lee replied:
Our process is design-centric. This may lead to consumer UI, infrastructure, and protocol development. Some projects may be accomplished in 3 months and others may take 3 years. All will be done in coordination with the rest of the open-source Bitcoin community. - Steve https://t.co/bAjgC5pcXh— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) July 29, 2019
We think it is really important to grow the number of organizations supporting core development. We will open-source our “operational playbook” (as we develop it) to help lower the barriers to entry for other companies. - Steve— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) July 29, 2019
Lee also provided the first hint that Square Crypto would soon be hiring its first Bitcoin developer:
We’ve received more than 1,500 resumes and are blown away by how much interest there has been. I can say that we are very close to onboarding our first developer. We think the community will approve. - Steve https://t.co/ytAzD8bMJa— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) July 29, 2019
So, who is Matt Corallo?
Corallo is one of the most highly respected and most prolific Bitcoin developers in the world, who has been making important contributions since May 2011. Currently, Corallo has the 6th most commits (640) in the "Open Source Bitcoin Project".
He is also a co-founder of Bloclstream, where he worked Between October 2014 and January 2017. After leaving Blockstream, he moved to Chaincode Labs, the stated mission of which is "to support and develop Bitcoin and other peer-to-peer decentralized systems."
Decrypto's Tim Copeland says that on February 7, at a meeting event in London, Corallo was introduced as “The bastard child of Satoshi," in response to which Corallo replied: "I can’t comment."
Square Crypto's Hiring of Matt Corallo
This is how Square Crypto ecstatically announced the news at 16:30 UTC on August 20:
BIG NEWS: Please welcome @TheBlueMatt to Square Crypto. Woo! THINGS ARE HEATING UP EVERYBODY GET IN HERE LET’S PARTY 🌀🔥🌀🔥🌀🔥— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) August 20, 2019
*A lone figure watches from afar, their haunched shape a dark smudge against the gathering gray sky… Gary?*
As for the reasons for choosing Corallo to be their first full-time Bitcoin developer and how they see him helping this division of Square, they said:
Matt’s experience as a bitcoin dev spans projects from Core to Bitcoinj, FIBRE, BetterHash, Rust-Lightning, plus other open-source initiatives like Signal. His background is the best imaginable foundation for our goal of accelerating bitcoin adoption on a massive scale.— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) August 20, 2019
Matt will play a vital role at @sqcrypto, much as he did at @ChaincodeLabs, providing valuable experience of Bitcoin engineering within the team and broader ecosystem of new devs.— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) August 20, 2019
Plus his hair is the same color as the spiral emoji, so really just an all-around on-brand hire. 🌀
This looks like a very smart move by Square, and judging by the comments on Twitter, the Bitcoin community seems to see this move as very bullish for Bitcoin and its ecosystem.
Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com