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Strike – a Bitcoin payments company and custodial wallet – has announced multiple partnerships to rapidly expand Bitcoin lightning network adoption. Together with NCR, Shopify, and Blackhawk, the company will enable massive retailers to accept Bitcoin payments.
The Open and Global Monetary Standard
Speaking at the Bitcoin 2022 Conference in Miami on Thursday, Strike CEO Jack Mallers was welcomed with roaring applause. The entrepreneur expected big things, after announcing Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador at last year’s event.
Before his announcements, Mallers began with a basic explanation of the problem with our payments system today. He argues that it hasn’t had any upgrades in 56 years, since Mastercard (formerly Interbankd) began issuing bank cards in 1966.
At present, payment settlement involves a number of middlemen that add extra cost and delay to money transfers. Between a consumer’s bank, merchant’s bank, and card network, merchant’s remain out of 3% of every transaction they receive.
After half a decade, the CEO posits that Bitcoin is a true upgrade to this system. Bitcoin’s base layer is a large, open, and global network with secure payments and cash finality. Meanwhile, the lightning network offers instant settlement, and payments virtually free of charge.
As Mallers explains, merchants can take advantage of the technology without even needing to hold Bitcoin. Rather, consumers and merchants can convert their fiat in and out of Bitcoin, using the network as a payment rail.
“It doesn’t have to be dollars,” he said. “It’s open, globally – who cares! If you want euros, do euros. You don’t want fiat? Keep Bitcoin, right? It’s up to you. As the merchant, you can receive in BTC, take starbucks points – I don’t care.”
Pay Anywhere With Bitcoin
As Mallers revealed, Strike has been implementing this concept to assist major American merchants and payment providers. For one, multinational eCommerce company Shopify is now allowing shoppers to buy products using sats, and a lightning invoice. In a video example, he shows CashApp sending Bitcoin to check out with the clothing brand Warren Lotus.
With this, any online merchant using Shopify can accept payments using the lightning network rather than traditional rails. For purchases done in-person, Strike has also partnered with Blackhawk, one of the world’s largest alternative payment networks. The company serves over 400,000 storefronts, alongside 37,000 partners.
Finally, Strike revealed a partnership with NCR – the world’s largest point-of-sale payments provider. 1 in 6 POS software across the globe is company-developed.
With this partnership, multiple major American retailers will be able to accept lightning payments in Bitcoin this year. These include McDonald’s, Walmart, Macy’s, WholeFoods, Home Depot, and many others.
To demonstrate, Mallers recorded himself buying pop at a Chicago grocery store using Zap. The wallet connected to his lightning node running over Tor back at home. However, he said that any lightning wallet will be usable for this, such as CashApp.