Block Manager Sees Self-Custody as Future of Crypto Post-FTX

The payments company is working on a product to allow customers to hold bitcoin directly.

AccessTimeIconJan 6, 2023 at 6:31 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:05 a.m. UTC

Following the collapse of FTX, the future of crypto is self-custody, said Max Guise, bitcoin wallet lead at Block (SQ), the payments company led by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

“We want to put customers in control of their money,” Guise said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” program on Thursday from CES 2023, a tech conference in Las Vegas. “[The] best way not to gamble with customer funds is to not be able to do so in the first place.”

Block is developing a digital wallet to allow customers to hold bitcoin (BTC) themselves, rather than entrusting the coins to a third-party platform like FTX. The wallet, which would have three "keys," is scheduled to come to market this year.

In order to move funds with the wallet, the user decides when they want to use just their phone with the app or their phone and the hardware together to move money. Without the two, Guise said, “Block can’t move their money for them.” The third key, which is held by Block in its “cloud recovery services,” is available for users who lose their phone or wallet, he said.

Guise hinted that Block is interested in working with a “wide range of partners," including regional exchanges in Latin America and Africa.

“What we’re building with our bitcoin wallet is aimed at making it easy and safe for a broad set of people to truly own their keys,” he said.


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.