Jack Dorsey is a curious character. The combination of his business success with a somewhat eccentric lifestyle pretty much guarantees media and public interest in him. He may not be as well known as Mark Zuckerberg, but he’s probably more easily identifiable by the public than the Google guys for example. Plus, he does often look as if he might have had a lead role in Pirates of the Caribbean, or some other Hollywood production. However, what in my opinion is most interesting about him is the role he has played in promoting cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin.
Dorsey is not only a co-founder of Twitter, he also launched Square, a mobile payments company that is hot on crypto. Dorsey is known to be a massive Bitcoin supporter, and has vowed to help Bitcoin develop as a global currency though Square. However, he is not a Bitcoin bull — he has a diverse crypto portfolio and is always upfront about that. Square’s spokesperson told Forbes, “it’s “only a matter of time until instant, low-fee bitcoin payments are as common as cash used to be.”
And to speed this along, Dorsey’s Square Crypto division is working on a kit that should help to integrate the Lightning Network with Bitcoin wallets. Lightning is a layer-two solution built on top of the Bitcoin network that makes payments faster and cheaper, and speed and cost are key elements of taking Bitcoin mainstream.
Until now there has been a problem with scaling Bitcoin for everyday payments, and this has slowed down adoption. Dorsey wants to supercharge the leading crypto’s throughput, which is why Square announced its Lightning Development Kit (LDK) to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, although it was definitely no coincidence.
As Gerelyn Terzo writes at CCN, “What Dorsey’s crypto division plans to do is give developers greater flexibility with Bitcoin and Lightning technology that in a nutshell comes down to streamlining bitcoin wallets.”
Essentially, the Lightning Network can potentially process millions of transactions per second, which is massive compared with Visa’s 45,000 transactions per second.
Dorsey deal with the volatility issue
Improving the speed and cost of Bitcoin transactions is one thing, but merchants are reluctant to accept the cryptocurrency because of its volatility. Dorsey and Square have a solution for that as well.
Square has been granted a patent that enables users to conduct fiat-to-crypto transactions. The customer can pay in bitcoin and the merchant can instantly convert it to U.S. dollar or any currency.
Basically, Dorsey is laying the foundations of an infrastructure for widespread Bitcoin use, because with instantaneous payments that can be converted into any currency, both customers and merchants have no reason to deny Bitcoin as a payment option.
If Dorsey and Square achieve this, they will surely be hailed as Bitcoin heroes. Unless you’re a Bitcoin hater!