- Strike’s expansion aims to tap into a potential market of nearly 3 billion people
- Strike also plans to introduce additional features by the end of the year, including a debit card.
Leading Bitcoin payments app Strike, has announced its plans to expand its app services to more than 65 countries worldwide. Currently available only in the United States and El Salvador, the Strike app offers global payment and cross-border money transfer services using Bitcoin and the Lightning network for faster transactions.
The app has undergone a significant update, including a new user interface and the addition of support for holding funds in Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT).
The CEO of Strike, Jack Mallers, made the expansion announcement at the Bitcoin 2023 conference held in Miami Beach, Florida. Mallers highlighted the company’s goal to provide better payment tools and technology, particularly in regions where there is a greater need.
He specifically mentioned the global south, emphasizing its influence on the future of the world and the role Bitcoin can play in those regions. He stated that the company’s mission is to provide people in the global south with access to a secure “money app” rather than relying on existing exchanges that may involve speculative gambling.
Strike’s decision to expand its services globally comes as it faces regulatory challenges in the United States. Due to regulatory restrictions, Strike is unable to offer its services in New York. In response to growing anti-crypto sentiments in the US, Strike has chosen to relocate its global headquarters to El Salvador. The move aligns with El Salvador’s proactive approach to cryptocurrency adoption, including recognizing Bitcoin as legal tender.
El Salvador’s successful implementation of Bitcoin as a legal tender was discussed by Mallers during the conference. He emphasized that the adoption of Bitcoin by merchants was not the sole measure of success. Mallers cited factors such as increased tourism as indicators of success for El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption. He also praised El Salvador’s regulatory framework and its efforts to attract technological innovations in the crypto space.
Strike’s global expansion was made possible through a two-and-a-half-year effort, involving collaboration with regulators at El Salvador’s Bitcoin Office to establish a licensing structure for legal operation of Bitcoin companies. El Salvador became the first country, apart from the United States, to support Strike, and it now serves as the headquarters for Mallers’ company, E4.
Mallers expressed his ambition to compete with major exchanges like Binance and FTX by offering a trustworthy alternative for users in those regions.
While the initial expansion allows users in new markets to receive Bitcoin, Strike has plans to introduce additional features by the end of the year, including a debit card. For markets outside the US, Strike will enable U.S. dollar payments through Tether.
Strike’s expansion aims to tap into a potential market of nearly 3 billion people, with a long-term goal of reaching the entire global population.
The move by Strike and the adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador signify a growing trend toward embracing cryptocurrencies as a means of fostering financial inclusion and driving economic growth in countries where traditional financial systems may be less accessible or reliable. It remains to be seen how Strike’s expansion and the broader adoption of cryptocurrencies will shape the global financial landscape in the coming years.