Square Crypto, the payments company launched by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, is now officially supporting Bitcoin (BTC) development through a grant program. This formalizes the already significant contributions made by the company toward the cryptocurrency.

Through a March 4 announcement, the company announced that the Square Grants program would be made publicly available. Two developers had already received grants: BTCPayServer received $100,000 to continue development of its open-source payment processor, and a pseudonymous developer received an undisclosed sum in connection to Lightning Network development.

With the announcement, Square revealed to have also granted undisclosed amounts to Jon Atack and Tankred Hase, two Bitcoin developers who have previously done significant work in the space.

How to apply for grants

Square has made the conditions for joining the program public. The rules state that grants can be received by a team or individuals all around the world, provided that they work on a Bitcoin project. 

The proposals must improve Bitcoin’s user experience, scaling, privacy, security or “something else we haven’t thought of,” Square wrote. The developers must also be “in good standing” within the Bitcoin community.

The team listed several examples of applicable projects, citing new layer two solutions, privacy implementations like Payjoin or SNICKER, new wallets and several others.

Applicants need to send an email to Square and write a detailed proposal text. “We’ll get back to you if it excites us and lines up with grant criteria,” the announcement reads.

Square’s previous work

Square is a payments company led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and it offers a wide variety of products in the payments ecosystem.

One of these is Cash App, a financial product for consumers that increasingly relies on Bitcoin to make revenue. In February, it was revealed that almost half of its earnings come from cryptocurrency users. The app allows them to purchase BTC in small amounts, with the average user only trading $7.50 every month.

Square is pushing forward with more cryptocurrency integrations, having obtained a patent for real-time crypto-to-fiat swaps in January. It is also actively supporting Bitcoin development through initiatives such as the Lightning Development Kit.

The company’s actions are not going unscrutinized, as some in the community raised questions on whether Square could influence Bitcoin’s development decisions.