Strike CEO Announces Shopify Partnership, Claims Lightning Network as Better Alternative to Visa
At the ongoing Bitcoin Conference in Miami, major deals were disclosed that should significantly expand Bitcoin’s utility and mainstream adoption. Jack Mallers made these announcements as the CEO of Strike, the global payments platform connecting merchants and businesses via Strike’s Application Programming Interface (API).
Strike Partners with Shopify, NCR, and Blackhawk Network
Although the Strike app already supports Bitcoin payments, the announced partnerships will drastically expand Bitcoin’s global payments footprint:
- Partnership with Shopify, the global payments network used across 2,297 million active websites and over 100,000 point-of-sale (PoS) merchants. Overall, Shopify’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) was at $54.1 billion in Q4 2021, which is a 31% increase from the same period in 2020.
- Partnership with Ohio-based NCR, one of the world’s largest suppliers of point-of-sale (PoS) devices for venues, retailers and restaurants, including self-serving kiosks. In Q4 2021, NCR’s revenue went up by 15%, to $7.16 billion.
- Partnership with Blackhawk Network, another e-commerce platform with 775 million cards issued annually with 400,000 integrated storefronts and generating a $26 billion annual load value.
Just as Strike for Bitcoin payments is built on top of Lightning Network (LN) these companies use LN too for instantaneous and cheap Bitcoin payments.
Lightning Network: Bitcoin’s Answer to Visa/Mastercard, Legacy Payment Networks
Lightning Network is critical for spearheading Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption. Case in point, the average transaction fee on Bitcoin’s main chain itself is currently $1.6, while on LN it is 1 satoshi, which is one-billionth of BTC or $0.00044 USD, reducing the transfer fee by over 3,000 times.
More importantly, just like with Visa or Mastercard, LN transactions are instantaneous, which is a must-need feature for everyday merchant payments. Similar to Arbitrum for Ethereum, LN is a layer 2 network for Bitcoin, scooping up transactions off the main chain and delivering them through two-way channels.
As a peer-to-peer (P2P) scalability solution, LN participants, such as merchants, can either open or close payment channels in which transactions are validated by LN’s nodes. Because of these Visa-grade performance features, LN has achieved tremendous growth, going from 100k users in the summer of 2021 to over 80 million people accessing LN as of March 2022, according to Arcane Research.
The question is, if LN is to drastically expand further, isn’t this massively bullish news for Bitcoin? If so, why didn’t Bitcoin’s price budge over the key $45 resistance level?
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Bitcoin’s Price Unaffected Amid Major Adoption Wave
Over the years, many have tried to pinpoint Bitcoin as an asset. Is it a tech stock, digital gold for safe-haven value storage, or something in between? Last month, Arcane Research tracked Bitcoin’s correlation with S&P 500, arriving at the conclusion that it is at its highest level since October 2020.
“Bitcoin’s correlation to the S&P 500 has only been higher for five days in BTC’s history, showing that the current correlation regime is unprecedented in BTC’s history,”
Arcane Research on CoinDesk.tv
However, Bitcoin is neither a company nor a stock. Therefore, bullish news doesn’t translate directly to its price increase.
Instead, the effect will most likely arrive when these partnerships are fully realized and deployed. After all, with such an expanded user base for convenient app/PoS payments, Bitcoin is getting firmly rooted in the mainstream financial system.
This is already clear from the recently published Checkout.com report at the same Miami conference.
Do you already have a Lightning Network wallet, or do you simply store accumulate bitcoins for the long haul? Let us know in the comments below.