Strike, a Bitcoin payments company and remittance app, has recently announced its global expansion, making its services available to over 3 billion people worldwide. With the inclusion of dozens of new countries, Strike aims to provide better payment tools and technology to individuals in the global south who need it the most.
During his speech at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami, CEO Jack Mallers emphasized that Strike’s expansion efforts primarily focused on regions in the global south, recognizing their significant role in shaping the future of the world. By extending its services to countries like India, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Brazil, Ecuador, and many others, Strike aims to enable wallet users to remit payments in both USD and BTC.
Leveraging the Bitcoin Lightning Network for Immediate Remittances
To facilitate fast and immediate Bitcoin and dollar-based remittances worldwide, Strike utilizes the Bitcoin Lightning Network. This layer 2 network bypasses the fees associated with Bitcoin’s base chain, ensuring that small transactions remain feasible even during periods of high demand. By employing this technology, Strike aims to provide users with a seamless remittance experience, enabling efficient cross-border transactions.
Strike’s expansion to 47 supported countries has been the result of a two-and-a-half-year effort, which involved working closely with regulators, particularly in El Salvador. The company collaborated with the Bitcoin Office in El Salvador to establish a licensing structure for Bitcoin companies to legally operate. This partnership allowed Strike to become the first company, besides the United States, to receive support from El Salvador. The nation now hosts the headquarters of Mallers’ company, E4.
Mallers stressed the importance of providing the global south with a “money app” rather than merely an exchange platform. He expressed concerns about speculative gambling on existing exchanges such as Binance, FTX, and Coinbase, highlighting the need for a trustworthy and user-friendly solution. By competing with these established players, Strike aims to offer a secure and reliable option for the 3 billion people it serves.
Supporting Lightning Address for Enhanced User Convenience
In addition to its global expansion, Strike has introduced Lightning Address, allowing users to set up an email-like identifier for lightning-based Bitcoin transactions. This feature offers a more user-friendly alternative to traditional QR code-based transactions, enhancing the accessibility and convenience of Strike’s services.
Strike’s recent expansion and global outreach build upon its previous achievements. In 2021, CEO Jack Mallers announced at the Bitcoin conference that El Salvador would become the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. In 2022, Mallers revealed partnerships with Shopify and NCR, aiming to enable Bitcoin lightning network payments at major retailers such as Walmart and McDonald’s. Despite encountering delays in the full rollout of these plans, Strike successfully integrated with POS giant Clover in January, further expanding its reach.