Strike, a payments company focused on utilizing Bitcoin and Lightning, has announced its plans to expand its app’s reach to over 65 countries, surpassing its current presence limited to the United States and El Salvador. The CEO of Strike, Jack Mallers, made the announcement at the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami Beach, Florida.
The app’s unique use of Bitcoin and Lightning allows it to offer global payment solutions and facilitate cross-border money transfers, positioning it to tap into untapped markets across Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean. This expansion comes at a time when the U.S. digital assets industry is facing regulatory uncertainties, with ongoing lawsuits by the Securities and Exchange Commission against companies for providing unregistered securities. Mallers sees this move as a validation of Strike’s commitment to its Bitcoin-centric approach, countering SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s view that Bitcoin should be classified as a commodity rather than a security.
The decision to expand into international markets was influenced in part by the Strike company’s relocation of its global headquarters to El Salvador. Mallers has personal connections to El Salvador and its president, Nayib Bukele. In 2021, Bukele declared Bitcoin as legal tender in the country, and Mallers had the privilege of introducing President Bukele during the Bitcoin Miami conference, where the historic announcement was made via video. Earlier in the year, El Salvador enacted a digital assets law, providing a regulatory framework for digital assets, and Strike was among the first companies to obtain a license under the new guidelines, along with Bitfinex. Just for reminder El Salvador became the first nation in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender back in June 2021. It was an instant success, and now the tiny Central American country is buying the dips on every major correction in the Bitcoin price. Several Latin American countries are said to be considering adopting bitcoin as a legal tender, but none of them have adopted it yet as a legal tender. El Salvador’s decision to adopt Bitcoin is likely to have some ramifications for a region that is struggling with hyperinflation, fiscal pressures and economic uncertainty.
With this expansion, Strike aims to broaden its total addressable market to nearly 3 billion individuals. Manuela Rios, the Vice President of product at Strike, emphasized that their ultimate objective is to cater to the entire global population of 7 to 8 billion people, regardless of their country of residence. One of the key focuses of the expansion is the newly designed user interface of the app, which promises a smooth onboarding process. Rios highlighted that while apps in the United States boast exceptional design standards, the same cannot be said for apps downloaded abroad, which often fall short in terms of aesthetics and user experience.
Overall, Strike’s ambitious plans to extend its app’s reach to various countries across the globe signify its dedication to promoting Bitcoin as a transformative financial tool and its commitment to providing efficient and accessible payment solutions to users worldwide.