Square Crypto, the digital currency arm of the payments company headed by Bitcoin bull, Jack Dorsey, has announced the award of a grant to Maggie Valentine, a designer who is attempting to make Bitcoin wallets more user-friendly. Valentine states on her LinkedIn page that she is “passionate about bringing inclusive design to the blockchain space.”
The grant, which was announced on Friday, is reportedly one in a series of ‘Open Dimes and Square Crypto grants’ that will be handed out this year to improve the Bitcoin ecosystem.
According to Square, Valentine’s grant will be used to address one of Bitcoin’s age-old questions: how to design cryptocurrency custody that is both easy-to-use and secure. Indeed, “how can we provide an intuitive experience for non-crypto users while preserving the security of a user’s funds?” Valentine wrote in her grant proposal to Square.
Giving trick-or-treaters Open Dimes and Square Crypto grants this year. Speaking of which, this one goes to Maggie Valentine (@magglevalentine), a designer working to simplify wallet onboarding flows by reducing technical jargon and increasing user education.
— Square Crypto (@sqcrypto) October 30, 2020
“Existing wallets bombard users with (unless well-versed in crypto) foreign concepts. In particular, private keys and seed phrases are of interest within the scope of this grant,” Valentine wrote in her proposal.
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“Both of these blockchain-specific features share an interesting challenge to designers and non-crypto-savvy users: they are completely novel concepts, yet hold a massive amount of weight in determining the safety of an individual’s funds. This dangerous formula puts beginner’s $ at risk, compromising one of many advantages blockchains have to offer.”
Jack Dorsey & Square Share a Mission to Improve the Bitcoin Ecosystem
Square’s announcement of the grant awarded as well as more grants to come seems to be part of Jack Dorsey’s ongoing personal mission to improve the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Last year, Dorsey announced that Square would be hiring developers specifically to make contributions to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem.
“[I] asked @brockm: ‘what is the most impactful thing we could do for the bitcoin community?’ His answer was simple: ‘pay people to make the broader crypto ecosystem better,’” he wrote on Twitter in March 2019. “This resonated with me immediately, so we’re doing it.”
#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
However, what may have begun for Dorsey as a personal conviction seems to have officially spread into Square’s mission as a company. Square announced last month that it would be investing $50 million into Bitcoin, representing 1% of the company’s total assets.
“We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future,” said Square chief financial officer, Amrita Ahuja at the time that the investment was made. “For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey.”