BREAKDOWN: Square Sets Out to Bring DeFi to Bitcoin

A new initiative from Jack Dorsey will be a full business unit inside the company.

This episode is sponsored by NYDIG.

Today on the Brief:

  • The mixed state of the U.S. government on crypto
  • China’s e-CNY will have native smart contracts
  • Saquon Barkley to take endorsement money in BTC

Our main discussion:

Square has announced a new initiative, titled “TBD,” that CEO Jack Dorsey describes as “focused on building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless and decentralized financial services.” Dorsey intends the platform to be developed completely transparently: “open road map, open development and open source.”

In this episode, NLW puts the new initiative in the context of Square’s long-term relationship with Bitcoin, explains why it’s different from the company’s Square Crypto efforts and analyzes how different parts of the community are reacting to the news.

NYDIG, the institutional-grade platform for Bitcoin, is making it possible for thousands of banks who have trusted relationships with hundreds of millions of customers, to offer Bitcoin. Learn more at

The Breakdown is written, produced by and features NLW, with editing by Rob Mitchell and additional production support by Eleanor Pahl. Adam B. Levine is our executive producer and our theme music is “Countdown” by Neon Beach. The music you heard today behind our sponsor is “Razor Red” by Sam Barsh. Image credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images, modified by CoinDesk.