A platform called Strike, led by Jack Mallers, which enables Bitcoin (BTC) payments, is expanding its services to 65 countries worldwide. Additionally, they are moving their global headquarters to El Salvador.
The company’s goal is to offer a user-friendly money application that enables transfers of Bitcoin and Tether (USDT). They prioritize Bitcoin and put it at the forefront of their approach, especially considering regulatory uncertainties in the United States. It’s worth noting that USDT is a stablecoin that is tied to the value of the US dollar.
Strike promises to provide a smooth and easy process for new users to get started. Their objective is to serve billions of individuals who are looking for a user-friendly money application that allows for convenient transfers of BTC and USDT.
By expanding to 65 countries, along with its current operations in the United States, El Salvador, and Argentina, Strike plans to become a global platform powered by cryptocurrencies.
The team stated that they chose to relocate their global headquarters to El Salvador, partly because of the country’s digital assets law. This law established rules and regulations for cryptocurrencies. Strike, along with Bitfinex, was among the first to receive licenses under this new regulatory framework.
The connection between Strike’s CEO, Jack Mallers, and El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, was significant. Mallers had previously introduced Bukele at the Bitcoin Miami conference in 2021, during which Bitcoin was announced as legal tender. This relationship played a role in Strike’s decision to establish a presence in El Salvador.
Despite facing some challenges at the beginning of El Salvador’s bitcoin experiment, Mallers believes that the country has discovered hope in Bitcoin. He points to the rise in tourism as evidence of the positive impact Bitcoin has had on El Salvador.
Now, Strike’s focus is on expanding its partnerships with banking services that make it easier to exchange Bitcoin for traditional fiat currency.
Currently, customers in the new markets can only receive Bitcoin from other users. However, Strike has plans to introduce additional features, such as a debit card, later this year.
Strike is encountering challenges related to network congestion and higher fees associated with Bitcoin transactions, caused by the increased demand. However, Mallers argues that Bitcoin is functioning as intended and dismisses claims that congestion has a negative impact on emerging markets.
Strike recently introduced a feature called “Send Globally.” This functionality allows users to transfer USD and other currencies through the app using Bitcoin as an intermediary. However, at the moment, this service is only available in twelve countries across Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia.
The company has faced criticism for its decision to hold USD balances in USDT, as there are concerns about its accounting practices.
Mallers explains that the decision to use USDT instead of alternatives like Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) was driven by user demand from the Global South. USDT was chosen as it is perceived to be more focused on serving international users rather than solely American institutions.
As Strike tackles challenges and strives to enhance its services, the company’s global expansion underscores the increasing acceptance and potential of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as a global payment method.