Back in March, we explained our thinking on how partners can contribute to Bitkey’s mission to empower the next 100 million people to truly own and manage their money with bitcoin, without the friction and anxiety that has historically existed with traditional self-custody wallets.
We also explained how part of that mission relies on connecting people across two worlds: the world of today’s domestic or regional centralized fiat monetary systems, and bitcoin’s distributed, borderless financial system. Partners play a key role in this journey and will help us widen the pie of self-custody adoption by making it easier and safer to move bitcoin from exchanges to Bitkey’s self-custody wallet where we can empower customers to truly own and manage their money on their own terms.
Today, we’re very proud to announce our first two global partnerships with Coinbase and Cash App, which will enable Bitkey’s customers to transfer and buy bitcoin through these platforms with a transparent and integrated experience that makes the journey to self-custody easier. The partners’ buy and transfer bitcoin capabilities will be embedded in the Bitkey app, with all purchases and transfers powered by these partners’ platforms for an easier and safer customer experience. These partnerships represent a key step towards helping customers have more control and ownership over their financial lives with bitcoin self-custody.
Price transparency and seamless experience - a must
With these product integrations, customers of Bitkey will see either or both Coinbase and Cash App along with their corresponding transparent fees displayed in the Bitkey app based on the customer's country, purchase amount and fiat payment method preference when purchasing. Customers can also transfer their existing bitcoin with these partners through an integrated journey that begins in the Bitkey app and redirects the customer to log in to the partner’s platform and seamlessly initiate a transfer of their bitcoin to Bitkey. Displaying the full cost of the transaction - specifically, the true, full cost of that bitcoin purchase based on both the fiat<>bitcoin exchange rate provided by that partner, as well as the exchanges' fiat payment method processing fees - has been one of the most important criteria we’ve looked for when exploring potential partnerships. Historically in the ecosystem, it’s been difficult for customers to compare true “apples-to-apples” costs of the all-in fees due to the different pricing approaches exchanges have taken. The Bitkey app will display the full cost of the transaction being offered by the different partners so that customers can decide which partner is right for them before redirecting to the partner-hosted experience.
After selecting the partner that the customer wants to transfer existing bitcoin or buy new bitcoin from, they sign into their existing partner account (or sign up if they are not yet a customer of that partner) and confirm the amount to transfer or buy. In the case of purchasing bitcoin, they simultaneously also authorize a withdrawal transaction so that their newly-purchased bitcoin can be sent to the customer’s Bitkey self-custody wallet, where it will appear after the exchange completes the customer’s withdrawal transaction.
The features to transfer existing bitcoin and buy bitcoin with global fiat currencies will roll out gradually, with the transfer integration launching first during Bitkey’s external beta in a few weeks time (read more on our beta program here). During the global public launch of Bitkey later this year, customers will then also be able to buy and immediately initiate a transfer of their bitcoin to Bitkey from Coinbase across 6 continents, including markets such as the US, Canada, the UK, Brazil and Australia, among other global markets; and Cash App in the US.
Here’s a glimpse into how the customer journey works:
While the product integrations today are focused on both the transfer and buy+transfer experience to move bitcoin from custodial platforms into customers' self-custody Bitkey wallets, the companies also plan to work together to make it easy and secure to also sell bitcoin and convert back to local fiat currencies through the integration in the future.
How we choose our partners
Price transparency, security standards, international country reach and availability of fiat payment method options that matter the most to customers around the world are some of the main criteria that drove our team to choose these first two partners, allowing people to securely and easily transfer their existing or new bitcoin from the Coinbase or Cash App platforms into the customer’s Bitkey self-custody wallet.
Our team continues to explore strategic partnerships with other companies that are willing to commit to price transparency; secure product integrations; provide localized experiences to customers around the world; and that possess excellent product, design and technical capabilities to ensure a great experience for customers.
It’s time to try out Bitkey and give us your feedback
These partner announcements come at a special time in our program. Today we are also opening applications for our external beta program. For anyone interested in being one of the first customers outside of our own Block, Inc. employee base to try out Bitkey, you can express your interest in being part of our external beta program.
We’ll share more about the journey leading up to the external beta milestone tomorrow in our next blog post. In the meantime, we’d love to hear feedback, questions or comments you have about our partnerships approach and the integrated product experience. You can reach the team at email@example.com, on Twitter, or on nostr.