The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter is already raising questions. Namely, what the heck is that thing on Jack Dorsey’s kitchen counter?
The freshly trimmed Twitter CEO appeared before the congressional committee to answer questions about social media’s role in spreading disinformation, particularly in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. He appeared alongside (to the extent that anything is “alongside” in a Zoom-based hearing) Google’s Sundar Pichai and Facebook overlord Mark Zuckerberg.
As Dorsey promised to “make our internal processes both more robust and more accountable to the people we serve,” focus quickly turned to his suspiciously tidy background. In the lower-left corner of the screen, viewers spotted a bizarre-looking... thing. It looked like a clock at first, reading, “1952"—which seemed at first glance like the current time, or some approximation of it. But then the numbers switched to this:
“676274" is not a time I’m aware of. And, in fact, it’s not the time at all. The gadget is called a BlockClock, and it’s exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to find in Jack’s kitchen.
The BlockClock, created by bitcoin hardware company Coinkite, allows users to automatically display the prices of a variety of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or ether. The wifi-connected device also lets users “see blocks as they are published by miners and connect Opendime to display balance, fiat value, and deposit QR codes,” as Coinkite describes its functionality.
Dorsey, who is also founder and CEO of fintech company Square, is famously a cryptocurrency evangelist. In early February, he set up his own bitcoin node, which means he’s tapped into the system that makes bitcoin work on a technical level. Later that month, Dorsey announced that he and Jay Z had invested 500 BTC in an endowment to develop bitcoin in Africa and India. At current exchange rates, that translates to nearly $26 million—a conversion you’d know at a glance if you, like Jack, owned a BlockClock Mini.
For those of you who see this insufferable device and think, “hell yeah, I need that,” you can order the BlockClock Mini at Coinkite for $400 (0.0078 BTC).