CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his mobile payments company Square has created a new division dedicated to decentralized finance (DeFi) on Bitcoin. For now, Dorsey is referring to the new Square Bitcoin DeFi platform as TBD, having not yet decided on an official name. 

Fast facts

  • The DeFi space, which has grown exponentially over last year, is touted as a new way to provide greater consumer access to financial services. DeFi services can range from loans and trading to insurance and savings accounts — without having to go through traditional intermediaries like banks.
  • While Bitcoin in itself could be considered the original example of DeFi — as the first cryptocurrency based on cutting traditional intermediaries out of financial transactions — the majority of the DeFi industry, for now, is built on Ethereum. In terms of the DeFi boom of 2020, Bitcoin has taken more of a back seat and has been defined more as an investment product or store of value rather than a currency for payments or a smart-contract platform for hosting decentralized applications (DApps).
  • “Square is creating a new business (joining Seller, Cash App, & Tidal) focused on building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services,” tweeted Dorsey, who is also the CEO of Twitter. “Our primary focus is #Bitcoin. Its name is TBD.” 
  • In the Twitter thread, Dorsey added that just like the development of Square’s coming Bitcoin wallet, Square’s new Bitcoin DeFi platform would be done completely “out in the open. Open road map, open development, and open source.”
  • Dorsey did not go into many details on exactly what the Bitcoin DeFi business would offer to prospective DApp developers or how it could be monetized, but he said that Mike Brock — an executive who has worked on Square’s push into cryptocurrency — would be in charge of the platform’s development. Last month, Dorsey also announced that the integration of Bitcoin layer-2 payments — the Lightning Network — into Twitter was only a matter of time.