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Bitcoin strike-based payment app announces expansion in Philippines

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Bitcoin Strike-based financial app and payment network announced that they are expanding their money transfer services with Bitcoin Lightning Network to the Philippines.

The ad sees Strike making its foray into one of the biggest remittance markets in the world, valued at a staggering $35 million.

Expansion to the Philippines

Digital payments company Strike has announced that it is expanding its international money transfer services to the Philippines. According to a press release, the shipping service called Send Globally will be available in the Philippines from Tuesday. The service is powered by the Bitcoin Lightning Network and allows for faster and cheaper international payments compared to existing methods in the traditional financial system. Strike CEO Jack Mallers announced on Twitter:

“Strike users can now send US dollars directly to banks and mobile money accounts in the Philippines!”

Service users may send funds through the Service, which may be received in the recipient’s bank account in local currency. Mallers stated,

“The Philippines is one of the biggest remittance markets in the world, especially from the United States. As far as the technology we’ve built, it’s one of the low-hanging fruit: cross-border payments are a huge headache and always have been. There have been incremental innovations from SWIFT and Western Union, but it’s still incredibly difficult.”

According to data from Statista, in 2021 alone, Filipinos residing in the US sent around $12.7 billion in remittances to their home country.

instant payments

Traditional international money transfer services are cumbersome as banks take several days to transfer funds from one account to the recipient’s account. Thanks to the Lightning Network, Strike can utilize instant, low-cost micropayments, enabling it to facilitate billions of transactions per second through the platform. The Strike app also allows users to transfer USD to local currencies, such as the Philippine peso in the case of the Philippines, at extremely low fees. Maller stated,

“None of our users need touch Bitcoin. The company’s aspiration is to hide Bitcoin under the hood “so that users can benefit from its payment network”.

The Strike app converts USD into BTC and sends a Lightning payment to the partner in the receiving country. In the Philippines, Strike partnered with payments company Bitcoin Pouch.ph. It is then converted to local currency and sent to the recipient’s bank account. According to Mallers, the entire process is shielded from users so that they are spared the complexity of Bitcoin payments and can avoid potential tax implications.

There are all kinds of tax consequences involved: if I want to send money from here to the Philippines, I have to tell the IRS. This is ridiculous. We use Lightning properties under the hood. So our users don’t even know we are using it. They only send dollars and receive pesos.”

Expansion Plans and Alliances

Strike has already made headlines thanks to its work with El Salvador, which has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. Following the example of El Salvador, we may see other countries like Panama adopt BTC as legal tender as well, where Strike could play a crucial role. Strike said his aim is to disrupt the traditional remittance industry, which is plagued by high fees and slow processing times.

“When you think about border crossings, you don’t think about a very fast, very cheap and very good experience. We are using the Bitcoin Lightning Network under the hood to achieve some things that were never possible before.”

Strike also plans to expand into other areas of Latin America and Africa, thanks to growing global demand. Mallers said Strike is seeing demand for areas in the UK and Europe and plans to add twenty new countries in the African region in February. Last month, Strike’s Send Globally launched in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana.

Strike also announced a partnership with payment provider Finserv to expand its services. The platform also raised $80 million in a Series B funding round to expand its payment solutions for marketplaces, merchants and financial institutions. Strike also announced a partnership with Visa in 2022, offering users a rewards card along with its app. Companies like Twitter have also enabled Bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network with Strike.

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