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MIAMI — Strike CEO Jack Mallers unveiled a litany of high-powered partnerships for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami on Thursday – including an integration with ecommerce giant Shopify.
“You’re gonna be able to walk into” millions of American storefronts that plug into the payments stalwarts and pay across the Lightning Network.
Mallers said Strike partnered with NCR (NCR), the world’s largest point-of-sale (POS) supplier, and payments firm Blackhawk.
Speaking before a packed house at the Miami Beach Conference Center main stage, Mallers, an ardent bitcoiner and Lightning Network advocate, said his “King’s Gambit” would bring Bitcoin back to its payments roots.
“If we can help make the Bitcoin network more accessible and usable we believe we can change the world,” he said. Leveraging Bitcoin as a cheap payments network is critical to that, he said, contrasting it with the “caviar-eating” history of boomer bank-issued credit cards that he said hasn’t innovated (beyond onboarding middlemen and their fees) in years.
“There’s not been since 1949 a superior payments network that allows us to innovate” for consumers, he claimed. “Let’s build the superior payments network from scratch.”
His lead-up laced in sarcasm, Mallers’ payoff was simple: Bitcoin’s Lightning Network “carries all the properties” for homegrown success.
He said Strike would partner with Shopify’s global network of merchants to allow for payments across the Bitcoin Lightning network – for those merchants who want to opt in.
“Strike’s integration enables Shopify merchants to diversify their existing payment options and reach untapped global markets and purchasing power. Strike’s integration also allows Shopify merchants to generate savings through low-cost payment processing. By instantly converting bitcoin (BTC) payments to dollars, Strike removes certain complexities merchants face in holding bitcoin,” a press release said.
Maller’s announcement could supercharge an explosion in mainstream adoption for Lightning Network. Earlier Tuesday, stock and crypto trading hub Robinhood Markets (HOOD) said its new wallet would add support for bitcoin transactions on the Lightning Network.
“This is about America and we need to protect our ability to innovate,” Mallers said.
“I’ve also been working with policymakers to ensure that we have the right to build freely in this country,” he said, adding he has been working with Wyoming’s bitcoin-loving Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R) on such legislation.