Jack Mallers, the CEO of cryptocurrency payment app Strike, took to stage at the ongoing 2022 Bitcoin conference in Miami to announce a partnership with e-commerce giant Shopify and alternative payment provider Blackhawk Network to enable merchants in the US to accept Bitcoin-to-cash payments through the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network is a Layer-2 payment and communication protocol built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain and is meant to allow transactions to be processed off-chain, taking the load off the mainnet and improving the network’s scalability. The Strike CEO also announced the roping in of the world’s largest point-of-sale (PoS) supplier NCR to facilitate the payments process.

According to a press release issued by Strike announcing the new partnerships, the new integration will unlock “the ability for eligible US Shopify merchants to receive Bitcoin payments from customers globally as US dollars” via Lightning Network. Mallers announced, “We’re proud to partner with Shopify to provide merchants with a cheaper and faster way to accept US dollars using Bitcoin technology. The Lightning Network is a global payments network that lowers costs, enhances speed, drives innovation, improves financial inclusion, and brings the power of choice to consumers and merchants.”

“Strike’s integration is accessible by any consumer in the world with a Bitcoin Lightning Network-enabled wallet, including more than 70 million Cash App users,” Strike added in the press release. According to Mallers’ presentation, Blackhawk Network is integrated with 400,000 storefronts and has 37,000 partners. Point-of-sale supplier (PoS) NCR, meanwhile, is responsible for one in six POS systems worldwide.

The setup is live now at Los Angeles-based streetwear designer Warren Lotas, with the plan being to add additional merchants in the coming months, Mallers said at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami. Mallers said that this provision will be extended even to offline merchants. This includes giants like Walmart and McDonald’s. This also includes a comprehensive list of several merchants operating across the US.

While announcing this major transformation in digital payments, Mallers took a moment to lash out at traditional financial institutions. He added, “There’s not been since 1949 a superior payments network that allows us to innovate, build on financial inclusion, and offer cheaper services faster services. My grandfather used the same technology as I do. That’s not American, that’s bullshit.”

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