Block Launches Bitcoin Wallet Bitkey. But Can You Buy It With Crypto?

Key Takeaways

  • Block's $150 Bitkey hardware wallet sold only for cash highlights crypto's payment challenges.
  • Bitkey offers secure Bitcoin storage outside exchanges, bolstering user control.
  • Block, formerly Square, Inc., expands fintech reach with Bitkey and ventures like CashApp.

Block, led by Twitter creator Jack Dorsey, has launched its $150 Bitcoin hardware wallet, Bitkey.

The move underscores the ongoing debate about the practicality of cryptocurrencies for everyday transactions. However, Block accepts only credit or debit card payments for the new device, not cryptocurrency.

Bitkey initially emerged as a prototype in 2022, with preorders starting last December. The wallet allows for the secure storage of Bitcoin, offering an alternative to keeping digital assets on an exchange. This initiative aims to give users greater control and security over their funds.

The Bitkey wallet was affectionately dubbed “Rockey” by Jack Dorsey. It has a fingerprint sensor for security, USB-C for charging, and NFC capabilities for seamless transactions between the wallet and its mobile application.

Moreover, it’s designed to work with popular platforms such as Coinbase and Block’s Cash App, facilitating easy Bitcoin transfers and purchases.

Block has hinted at introducing more diverse payment methods for Bitkey shortly, potentially broadening access to the device.

Dorsey and Jim McKelvey founded Block, originally known as Square, in 2009. The company has grown into a formidable fintech conglomerate. With a foundation in offering innovative financial solutions for small to medium-sized businesses through its Square platform, Block has significantly expanded its reach.

As of 2023, it reportedly services 56 million users and 4 million businesses, handling an impressive annual payment processing volume of $228 billion.

Block’s portfolio includes a variety of crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) ventures. Among these are the consumer-friendly CashApp and TBD, a decentralized platform dedicated to Bitcoin and DeFi innovations. These highlights Block’s commitment to leading in the financial technology sector.