Facebook, Google, Lose Talent to Bitcoin Builder Square Crypto

Square Crypto—the division of payments solutions provider Square that is focused on open-source Bitcoin development—announced Thursday the hiring of three software engineers, each of whom will work on open-source projects that seek to improve or proliferate the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Among the trio of Square Crypto hires is Arik Sosman, a former software engineer at leading institutional cryptocurrency financial services company BitGo and Calibra, the Facebook subsidiary building custodial wallet software that will run on top of the not-yet-launched Libra Blockchain. Also joining Square Crypto are Lightning Labs alum Valentine Wallace and Jeffrey Czyz, who has parted with Google after ten years working as a software engineer.

Sosman, Wallace, and Czyz now round out Square Crypto’s inaugural development team, according to a tweet published by its official account on Thursday. Square Crypto stated in a separate tweet, though, that it “is still looking” for a senior designer. “This position is bigger than a single product, and will play a major role in formalizing how the world interacts with bitcoin.” 

Twitter and Square chief executive Jack Dorsey introduced Square Crypto in March. The Bitcoin-focused Square division then announced its first hire in June by way of Steve Lee, a former product director at Google. Long-time Bitcoin Core contributor and Blockstream co-founder Matt Corallo was announced in August as Square Crypto’s second hire.

Earlier this week, Square Crypto announced a $100,000 grant to the newly founded BTCPay Server Foundation in support of BTCPay Server, a self-hosted and open-source cryptocurrency payment processor.

According to a blog post by Square Crypto, the $100,000 grant to the BTCPay Server Foundation marked “the first of what will be many grants to support open-source bitcoin projects.” Square Crypto is the first to financially support the BTCPay Server Foundation—which was announced by BTCPay Server founder Nicolas Dorier at Bitcoin-centric conference Baltic Honeybadger 2019 last weekend.

According to a blog post by BTCPay Server, the goal of the Foundation is “to ensure continued financial support from corporate entities and allow heavily invested contributors to focus on the core mission [of the BTC Pay project].” That is, to help businesses and individuals achieve self-sovereignty regardless of their political, geographic or financial barriers.

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