How Spiral, Jack Dorsey’s Rebranded Bitcoin Company, Is Accelerating Adoption

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The leader of Spiral, the Bitcoin-focused company formerly known as Square Crypto, explains the group’s renaming, mission, and future.

Jack Dorsey’s popular financial company Square has recently undergone a rebranding and is now called Block. The move led one of its affiliates, Square Crypto, to take a new name as well. Now known as Spiral, Block’s Bitcoin Corporation has embarked on a well-defined mission: to advance Bitcoin towards global use.

what’s in a name?

In her rebranding statement, Spiral noted that her original name was never a good fit for her. The inclusion of her parent company’s previous name within her own name led to the belief that the relationship between the two was stronger than it actually was, and this caused confusion about Square Crypto’s independence. Moreover, the company said that the existence of the “cryptocurrency” misrepresented its mission, given that it is focused solely on Bitcoin. Spiral also hints at Bitcoin as it continues to grow “like a one-point vortex, encompassing more and more space until everything touches,” per square tweet.

Despite being under the Block umbrella, Spiral operates completely independently of the parent company. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Block and former CEO of Twitter, has little direct control over Spiral. The leader of the company, Steve Lee, said Bitcoin Magazine In a recent interview that “Spiral decides how our team operates, what we’re working on, and how resources are spent,” not Block or Dorsey.

The road to adoption, cradle of developers

Spiral’s only goal is to enable Bitcoin to touch everything. Lee said Spiral seeks to accelerate Bitcoin adoption by making it easier for developers to build applications that interact with the cash network. Ultimately, he explained, this can lead to better end-user experiences – a key factor in achieving high adoption rates.

“Spiral can accelerate adoption by creating development tools and infrastructure that make it easier for people to build better user experiences, make the network more secure, access better tools, and increase privacy,” Lee said.

Even among those relatively open to adopting it, many view bitcoin as digital gold only, an improved version of the world’s most sought-after metal that can be sent and received online while retaining the purchasing power of its owner. But many Bitcoiners disagree with this limited view and instead envision a peer-to-peer asset being scaled in a multi-layered approach to becoming a global currency, something Spiral believes in and is dedicated to helping Bitcoin achieve through the Lightning Network.

“Our long-term goal is to make bitcoin a useful everyday currency for people around the world,” he told me. “Bitcoin adoption naturally begins with ownership, but the end point is daily use as a currency.”

By developing libraries and tools to help developers implement Bitcoin and Lightning functionality for their applications, Spiral hopes that it can make the use of Bitcoin as a currency more feasible for people around the world. This is already a reality in places like El Salvador, but in many other countries citizens are still struggling to take advantage of Lightning as a suitable tool for scaling, a problem that may be rooted in the application of the technology.

“Almost every Lightning wallet and app needs its own customizations to improve the user experience,” Lee told me. “Historically, it has not been a developer friendly process, and it is a problem for mobile apps in particular because they tend to get more customization. It’s hard to deliver the user experience people expect on mobile in terms of privacy, security, and performance.”

This issue prompted the company to work on a development kit for Lightning, the LDK, which takes care of the more difficult aspects of the technology and frees up developers’ bandwidth to focus on the end-user experience.

“With the LDK, developers don’t have to modify the underlying Lightning network implementation, nor do they need to learn a different programming language or be an expert in the Lightning protocol,” Lee said.

The LDK summarizes the low-level concepts of Lightning development to enable easier integration of the Bitcoin scaling protocol. By abstracting network and database interfaces, for example, the LDK allows developers to run the LDK within a browser that requires WebSockets and enjoy greater flexibility when it comes to storing and managing Lightning state data.

“The LDK allows developers to submit their own custom score by peers, customize pre-push image generation and create custom channel scripts,” Lee added.

The measurement technology is based on a reliable and efficient substrate. Besides her work on Lightning, Spiral is also creating a development group geared towards the Bitcoin core layer, the Bitcoin Development Kit.

He explained to me that “BDK is conceptually very similar to LDK – it can be considered a sister project”. “The BDK helps developers build the on-chain parts of the wallet, while the LDK focuses on Layer 2. The combination of the BDK and the LDK makes the creation of any wallet aim to massively scale millions of users.”

build in the future

The easiest thing to build could also in theory be tested and debugged. Part of Spiral’s focus is on helping make that a reality, and the company intends to double the number of full-time developers it works with in the next year to achieve that goal.

Another aspect of Spiral’s mission and work is to fund other open source Bitcoin projects. The Spiral Grant Program is designed to empower developers, designers, and other contributors with the resources they need to improve Bitcoin’s privacy, security, UX, and scalability, according to Lee. Anyone interested in getting paid to work on Bitcoin full time can apply to do so on the Spiral website.

In addition to making tangible and direct contributions to the Bitcoin ecosystem, Spiral also hopes to inspire similar organizations to generate and add more to the open source mission.

“Within ten years, we hope to inspire ten more people like us, with their own flavor and style, and contribute to the development of open source bitcoin,” he told me.

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