Square to enter decentralised finance space

Jack Dorsey, the chief executive of US payments company Square, has announced his company is set to enter the decentralised finance (DeFi) market.

DeFi is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on traditional intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks, and instead utilizes smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being cryptocurrency Ethereum.

The new business, currently known as “TBD”, will centre around Bitcoin, and will be “focused on building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized” according to Dorsey.

Dorsey expressed a commitment to an open-source approach saying the project is set to be “Open roadmap, open development, and open source.”

The new project is set to be led by Mike Brock, strategic development lead at Square, who spent part of his earlier career at open-source focused company RedHat.

Square, which is currently valued at over $100 billion launched its solution in Ireland in May, marking its first launch inside the Eurozone.

DeFi has attracted criticism in the past; US investor Mike Novogratz has dubbed some DeFi projects “Ponzi like”.

Bitcoin Taproot, Bitcoin’s first update for four years, will make it easier for users to implement the “smart contracts” which DeFi projects rely on.

The update, which was approved by miners worldwide in June, is due to take effect in November.
“I also believe that technology has always been a story of decentralization,” said Brock on Twitter. “From the printing press to the internet to bitcoin -- technology has the power to distribute power to the masses and unleash human potential for good, and I'm convinced this is the next step.”

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