What is Strike?

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8 min read

Strike is an app that makes bitcoin’s Lightning Network accessible to everyone.

Developed by the Zap startup team, Strike acts as a bridge between traditional banking and Bitcoin.

How does it do this? Well, through a debit card or a bank account that allows its users to exchange Bitcoin and Lightning Network. Thanks to Strike, crypto lovers will now be able to use this app to make micropayments, buy goods and services online as well as buy cryptocurrencies and more…

TThe public beta launch of the Strike app, by the company Zap, was announced in July 2020, when its CEO, Jack Mallers, announced the new app for iPhone, Android and Chrome, which allows users to send and receive Bitcoin (BTC) and Lightning Network payments directly to and from a bank account.

During this first launch, Strike registered more than 10,000 users and currently processes millions of dollars in volume per month. 

How does Strike by Zap work?

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Strike is an application that allows Lightning payment transactions with just a debit card or bank account. However, its peculiarity is that instead of having to buy bitcoins to load their Lightning channels, Strike users do not have to use BTC. 

In other words, you pay in fiat, but you use Lightning. If you want to convert fiat to bitcoin, you transact in Lightning and pay through Strike.

According to Mallers, “This is important because Strike users are not exposed to volatility, tax consequences, custodial challenges, node management, channel management, etc. When a user makes a Lightning payment with Strike, their balance is debited. When a user receives a payment on Strike, their balance is credited.”

Demo de strike en Youtube:

So, if I want to use Strike, what do I have to do?

Well, to use Strike all you need to do is provide your name and a phone number and you’re ready to go!

Benefits of Strike

In addition to using Strike to send money abroad, make purchases or simply to save our savings, this application has features that translate into great advantages and benefits:

  1. Strike does not have custody of funds. This means that Strike does not own the funds and private keys of its users and only stores their money.
  2. In case of Bitcoin price volatility, Zap allows its users to make payments for the balance they have in their wallets, regardless of the bitcoin price. Thus, in case of loss, we will not be affected by the volatility of the Bitcoin price.
  3. When creating an account on the platform, Strike assigns its users an address in the format strike.me/[username]. Once this address is obtained, we can use it to receive, from any Bitcoin wallet, donations, tips and payments. Strike.me addresses are interoperable with any other Bitcoin wallet and it is not necessary for the other party to be a Strike user in order to receive money at that address. Although Strike is a product regulated by the relevant financial authorities, it guarantees minimal KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements. As I explained above, when you register you will only be asked for your name and phone number.

Evolution and future development of Strike

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After the launch of the beta version of the Strike App, which was only available in the United States, on January 6, 2021 the Zap company announced a big news: thanks to an agreement with the Bittrex exchange, the App now supports users from more than 200 countries and goes global. Strike Global already incorporates trading with euros, pounds, Swiss francs and the Tether (USDT) and USDC stablecoins, bringing the Bitcoin asset and network to billions of people.

The advantages of Strike Global include the following:

  • At present, transactions made through Strike are free of charge, there are no direct commissions charged. This is because the system is practically based on the existing Bitcoin exchange infrastructure, which makes transactions much faster and cheaper than traditional payment systems. 
  • For users in countries with an underdeveloped banking system, Strike allows them to keep their funds in Bitcoin or Tether which can be exchanged into fiat money through other solutions (Crypto Atms, cryptocurrency exchange houses etc.).

Regarding future developments of the App, Zap’s CEO reported that Strike is working to provide merchants with tools to process contactless payments. An enhanced electronic commerce system is also being implemented, along with a rewards program through partner merchants.

In the first quarter of 2021, it expects to complete its public and private beta, as well as issue a Strike Visa card in the United States. In the second quarter, it expects to launch its Strike Visa also in the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Jack Mallers stated in an interview:

The combination of the Bitcoin network, the Lightning network and Strike allows anyone to send any amount of money, at any time, at no cost. We now have an open monetary network that can physically settle any amount of value, anytime, anywhere, at virtually no cost. Combine that with an app that allows you to use this open monetary network with your bank account and you have monumental innovation and pure disruption.

According to Maller, this tool will allow mass adoption of cryptocurrencies, because it allows the entire public to learn about this world.

So, if you are interested in using this novel technology, all you have to do is download the Strike beta App, now available for Android, iPhone and Chrome.