Square Releases White Paper Detailing Protocol for a Decentralized Bitcoin Exchange

The white paper from Square’s new TBD division describes a protocol for exchanging digital and other assets in a way that’s more accessible to everyone.

AccessTimeIconNov 19, 2021 at 9:24 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 6, 2022 at 7:35 p.m. UTC
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Tanzeel Akhtar is a reporter based in London,UK.

Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.

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Payments giant Square released a white paper on Friday detailing a new decentralized protocol for exchanging digital and other assets known as tbDEX.

  • “The tbDEX protocol facilitates decentralized networks of exchange between assets by providing a framework for establishing social trust, utilizing decentralized identity (DID) and verifiable credentials (VCs) to establish the provenance of identity in the real world,” the company wrote in the paper’s abstract.
  • In a post introducing the protocol, a TBD developer wrote that “the tbDEX protocol aims to create ubiquitous and accessible on-ramps and off-ramps that allow the average individual to benefit from crypto innovation.”
  • TBD has published the white paper in GitHub so that the community can contribute.
  • Square CEO Jack Dorsey, who’s also the CEO of Twitter, announced the company’s plan to create an open developer platform for a decentralized bitcoin exchange back in August. He noted that TBD, Square’s new division focused on developing non-custodial and decentralized financial services, would be building the exchange.
  • Mike Brock, who heads strategic development at Square, is leading the new project. Brock has previously tweeted that “this is the problem we’re going to solve: make it easy to fund a non-custodial wallet anywhere in the world through a platform to build on- and off-ramps into bitcoin. You can think about this as a decentralize[d] exchange for fiat.”

UPDATE (Nov. 19, 21:56 UTC): Adds info on GitHub in third bullet point.


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Tanzeel Akhtar is a reporter based in London,UK.

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Nelson Wang is CoinDesk's news editor for the East Coast. He holds BTC and ETH above CoinDesk's disclosure threshold of $1,000.