- Strike has announced Send Globally, a feature that brings Bitcoin payments to Africa based on the Lightning Network
- Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana will be trialed for the new feature, which follows on from El Salvador’s use last year
- The Lightning Network is Bitcoin’s best chance of achieving its goal of being used for micropayments as well as digital gold
Lightning Network payment platform Strike has expanded its offering to Africa, following its deployment in El Salvador. Strike announced its Send Globally feature yesterday, which enables instant, low-cost payments to Africa, with initial coverage for Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, allowing anyone in the U.S. to send bitcoin to users in those countries quickly and cheaply.
Strike Continues Impressive 2022
Strike has been at the forefront of Bitcoin Lightning Network adoption, with El Salvador using it as its infrastructure when it made Bitcoin legal tender last year. The company has continued to grow, announcing partnerships with Shopify, NCR, and Blackhawk in April, just weeks after Jack Mallers, Founder and CEO of Strike, said that the app was planning to launch in at least 50 countries in 2022.
This may have been slightly optimistic on his part, although in fairness at the time he may have been working on a deal for the entire African continent. As it is, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana will be used as trialists for Send Globally, with Mallers explaining in a press release how the feature will help users in those countries:
High fees, slow settlement, and lack of innovation in cross-border payments have negatively impacted the developing world. With exorbitant fees to transfer funds in and out of Africa and incumbent providers halting services, payments companies are struggling to operate in Africa and people cannot send money home to their family members. Strike offers an opportunity for people to transfer their US dollars easily and instantly across borders.
Bitcoin’s Potential Being Realized
Strike has partnered with African payments platform Bitnob to enable instant payments to the continent, with Strike users able to send money to anyone in the three countries instantly with no transaction fees. Payments are instantly converted into naira, cedi, or shillings, and deposited directly into a recipient’s bank, mobile money, or Bitnob account.
A successful trial period will surely see the Send Globally feature rolled out to more countries across the continent, finally helping bring Bitcon’s goal of being a peer-to-peer financial system to life, thanks to the Lightning Network and Strike.