People Matter

Staff Software Engineer (Cryptography), Proto



Software Engineering
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, June 28, 2024

Company Description

Block is one company built from many blocks, all united by the same purpose of economic empowerment. The blocks that form our foundational teams — People, Finance, Counsel, Hardware, Information Security, Platform Infrastructure Engineering, and more — provide support and guidance at the corporate level. They work across business groups and around the globe, spanning time zones and disciplines to develop inclusive People policies, forecast finances, give legal counsel, safeguard systems, nurture new initiatives, and more. Every challenge creates possibilities, and we need different perspectives to see them all. Bring yours to Block.

Job Description

Bitkey sits within the Proto team. Proto's purpose is to accelerate the world’s transition to a more open economy by making products that increase access and independence for everyone. The first two initiatives we’ve identified that represent the biggest impact to this purpose are in the Bitcoin space with Bitcoin mining and Bitkey, a self custody Bitcoin wallet. While we’re starting there, we don’t believe the need for tools to increase one’s independence is limited to bitcoin or the financial space. One principle across everything we do in Proto is open development – show and tell. We develop products in the open, you can read more about them at and

Bitkey is looking for a staff-level engineering leader that will help guide and influence the technical direction of the software and services that will power our self-custody product. Cryptographic primitives are at the center of the software we’re building to support our multi-signature wallet so we’re looking for a leader who has that foundation of knowledge to help lead our technical strategy and collaborate on executing our product vision. This is a cross-cutting role that will innovate on the first version of our product and shape new product areas in the coming years.

In this role, you will:

  • Design, build, deploy, and sustain a wide range of secure and reliable services supporting the wallet including multisig key management and provisioning, blockchain interaction, recovery processes, logistics, and more

  • Assess risks to our customers across a wide range of product and technology areas, including mobile, backend infrastructure, key management, account recovery, third party integrations, authentication, and privacy

  • Communicate clearly about risks to teammates across product, software, hardware, support, and supply chain

  • Participate in our team's internal and external transparency by authoring posts and documentation accessible to a wide audience

  • Make key architecture and platform choices, leveraging existing Block infrastructure and best practices where appropriate and and forging a new path when our unique needs require it

  • Collaborate with engineers across of varying disciplines, product managers, and many other teams throughout the company

  • Own testing, observability, and maintenance for the services you and the team create


You have:

  • 10+ years of experience with the full lifecycle of critical production services (server or mobile). Ideally in one of { Rust, Java/Kotlin, Swift, Go, Ruby }

  • Strong bitcoin/cryptographic fundamentals (key generation, secure key management, transaction construction, signatures, multi-party computation)

  • Experience advising product teams on how to address a broad set of security and privacy challenges

  • Empathy for your customers and colleagues

  • Interest in the opportunities and challenges that come with building a new product area from the ground up

Additional Information

Block takes a market-based approach to pay, and pay may vary depending on your location. U.S. locations are categorized into one of four zones based on a cost of labor index for that geographic area. The successful candidate’s starting pay will be determined based on job-related skills, experience, qualifications, work location, and market conditions. These ranges may be modified in the future.

Zone A: USD $239,600 - USD $359,400
Zone B: USD $239,600 - USD $359,400
Zone C: USD $239,600 - USD $359,400
Zone D: USD $239,600 - USD $359,400

To find a location’s zone designation, please refer to this resource. If a location of interest is not listed, please speak with a recruiter for additional information.

Full-time employee benefits include the following:

  • Healthcare coverage (Medical, Vision and Dental insurance)
  • Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account
  • Retirement Plans including company match
  • Employee Stock Purchase Program
  • Wellness programs, including access to mental health, 1:1 financial planners, and a monthly wellness allowance
  • Paid parental and caregiving leave
  • Paid time off (including 12 paid holidays)
  • Paid sick leave (1 hour per 26 hours worked (max 80 hours per calendar year to the extent legally permissible) for non-exempt employees and covered by our Flexible Time Off policy for exempt employees)
  • Learning and Development resources
  • Paid Life insurance, AD&D, and disability benefits

These benefits are further detailed in Block's policies. This role is also eligible to participate in Block's equity plan subject to the terms of the applicable plans and policies, and may be eligible for a sign-on bonus. Sales roles may be eligible to participate in a commission plan subject to the terms of the applicable plans and policies. Pay and benefits are subject to change at any time, consistent with the terms of any applicable compensation or benefit plans.

We’re working to build a more inclusive economy where our customers have equal access to opportunity, and we strive to live by these same values in building our workplace. Block is a proud equal opportunity employer. We work hard to evaluate all employees and job applicants consistently, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, pregnancy, gender expression or identity, sexual orientation, citizenship, or any other legally protected class.

We believe in being fair, and are committed to an inclusive interview experience, including providing reasonable accommodations to disabled applicants throughout the recruitment process. We encourage applicants to share any needed accommodations with their recruiter, who will treat these requests as confidentially as possible. Want to learn more about what we’re doing to build a workplace that is fair and square? Check out our I+D page.

Additionally, we consider qualified applicants with criminal histories for employment on our team, assessing candidates in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.

Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) is a global technology company with a focus on financial services. Made up of Square, Cash App, Spiral, TIDAL, and TBD, we build tools to help more people access the economy. Square helps sellers run and grow their businesses with its integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions, business software, and banking services. With Cash App, anyone can easily send, spend, or invest their money in stocks or Bitcoin. Spiral (formerly Square Crypto) builds and funds free, open-source Bitcoin projects. Artists use TIDAL to help them succeed as entrepreneurs and connect more deeply with fans. TBD is building an open developer platform to make it easier to access Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies without having to go through an institution.

While there is no specific deadline to apply for this role, on average, U.S. open roles are posted for 70 days before being filled by a successful candidate.