Strike – a Bitcoin payment company and wallet provider – has expanded its “Send Globally” feature to the Philippines, allowing locals to receive lightning-based remittances directly to their bank account.
This marks the second-wave rollout for Send Globally after its initial release to Africa in December.
Fixing the Remittance System
In a press release published on Tuesday, Strike explained that its new feature enables “fast, secure, and low-cost” money transfers between the Philippines and the United States. That’s a big deal for the southeast island nation, whose $35 billion remittance market is comprised of $12 billion from the U.S. alone.
Empowering the service is Bitcoin’s lightning network – a layer two scaling solution allowing instant peer to peer Bitcoin transfers for fractions of a penny. The lightning network’s capacity and adoption has climbed substantially over time, now supported by over 16,000 nodes and 76,390 open channels.
Jack Mallers – CEO of Strike – has frequently praised the lightning network as a more efficient and less exploitative tool for remitting value to the global south, as opposed to existing alternatives like Western Union.
“Remittances are a broken system and Strike delivers an incredibly empowering experience for people to send money around the world in nearly an instant,” said Mallers in a statement. “Our technology allows us to both improve on the existing cross-border experience and include those that have previously been excluded by legacy payment rails.”
Supporting Strike’s Send Globally feature in the Philippines is Pouch.ph, a Bitcoin company supporting peso payments over Bitcoin’s lightning network. Together with Strike, a U.S. person sending U.S. dollars can have their funds transferred over lightning, converted into pesos, and deposited into a Filipino bank account or mobile money account.
Strike previously partnered with the African Bitcoin company Bitknob to bring lightning remittances to Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana – the former of which already has a 35% crypto adoption rate, according to a KuCoin study. While Strike is focused on expanding internationally, it has prioritized countries in greatest need of better remittance technology, such as El Salvador and Argentina.
Strike’s Plans at Home
Strike has big ambitions within U.S. borders as well – including bringing lightning network compatibility to major merchant providers across the country. Last year, Mallers announced partnerships with NCR, Shopify, and Blackhawk, all of which are poised to people pay with Bitcoin online and in-store at the world’s largest retailers.
Though its CEO has confessed that these plans are taking longer than expected to manifest, Strike announced an integration with Clover point of sale terminals last week.
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