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Lightning Strikes Bitcoin

Lightning Strikes Bitcoin

Bitcoin is about to change the world again. Over the past decade, Bitcoin has slowly been accepted as a new asset class and a valuable store of value. Bitcoin just recently passed $1 Trillion Dollars in value. Bitcoin has often been correctly criticized for having no functional utility. That just changed on January 6, 2021.

Bitcoin is now poised to become the world’s global currency using the Bitcoin Lightning Network. Jack Mallers, CEO of Zap, just released the Strike Global App on iOS and Android phones. This is the first of what will certainly be multiple and interoperable Lightning-based payment applications.

Strike is an amazing achievement! Because it is built on the Lightning Network, it is the first digital payment app that is:

  1. Global (200 countries)
  2. Instant
  3. Free

But wait, there is more, much more. Strike has brilliantly abstracted all the considerable complexities of the Bitcoin/Lightning Network. From the users standpoint it is remarkably simple to use. You simply share a QR Code and you can accept money from anyone, anywhere instantly.

Bitcoin/Lightning is an open interoperable network. All the other payment apps – PayPal, CashApp, Venmo – are proprietary and closed networks. No closed network can win this game. To paraphrase CEO Jack Mallers from his January 8, 2021 interview on the What Bitcoin Did Podcast:

I built this company out of my bedroom. Because it is based on the OPEN Bitcoin/Lightning Network proprietary financial networks – PayPal, CashApp, Venmo – cannot compete.

Jack Mallers, CEO Strike. Paraphrase from What Bitcoin Did Podcast, 1/8/21

Strike users only deal with their local currency. This solves the problem of users needing to deal with Bitcoin price variations and potential capital gains taxes. Strike has also partnered with VISA to provide a linked debit card enabling seamless integration into existing legacy payment channels and ATMs.

Lightning also enables for the first time the possibility of micropayments. Micropayments open up entirely new business opportunities such as second-by-second payment streams, hourly payrolls, micro-payments for media consumption, web service/iOT payments, metering, gamification, and a host of other possibilities previously unknown and unimagined.

This app and the underlying technology is a complete game changer. Bitcoin will soon gain massive utility as a true global currency. Bitcoin is no longer a one-trick pony, but a world changing new form of money. This is Bitcoin/Lightning’s Killer App and will be absolutely transformative.

Disclaimer: I have no financial interest in ZAP. (Although I wish I did).

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