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News Report

Lightning Network-Powered App Strike Launches in Argentina With Limited Usability

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James

In Brief

  • Strike is slowly expanding its footprint in South America by making its wallet available to Argentinians.
  • The custodial wallet only holds the stablecoin Tether.
  • This Tether limitation came as an annoying surprise to some Argentinian users.
  • promo

Argentinian users are beneficiaries of what Strike’s CEO calls “a superior financial service,” although not all users are happy.

Strike launched in Argentina recently, but all is not well, and some users feel misled. It is impossible to buy, sell, or hold bitcoin in the Argentinian iteration of the Strike wallet. One user reported that the app receives bitcoin payments via the Lightning Network but converts it to USDT  for storage in the wallet. There was no mention of this in the original announcement made by Strike. He also reported that he could send USDT to exchange and receive bitcoin.

Strike launched in Argentina to expand its reach into Latin America. Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike, previously said in an Investor’s Podcast Network interview that he aims to bring financial inclusivity to countries with a large unbanked population. The Argentinian rollout is to allow cheap remittances, reception of bitcoin tips, and peer-to-peer payments. The CEO promised “a superior financial experience.” Strike uses the “world’s open monetary network, #Bitcoin, to give hope to the people of Argentina.”

Strike’s rollout so far

So far, Strike has launched in the U.S. (except New York and Hawaii) and El Salvador. Argentina is the latest beneficiary of Strike’s partnership with Bittrex Global, which converts USDT to bitcoin for Argentinian users. Mallers has said that “dematerializing all existing monetary functions into a singular monetary standard is not trivial, hence the slow rollout. He also said of the Argentinian rollout, “Argentina is one of the most exciting countries for building the Bitcoin economy, leveraging Bitcoin, as both a superior asset and a superior payments network.” He has said that he wants to get the rollout right rather than fast.

There were plans to roll out Strike in the U.K. and Europe by the end of 2021, with plans to further expand into 200 countries via the partnership with Bittrex. No official announcements have been made regarding the progress of these rollouts.

Strike uses the Lightning Network, which is a second-tier of the bitcoin blockchain that provides separate micropayment channels between different parties to form a network of Lightning nodes. Lightning Network solves two significant time and cost issues of completing payments on the bitcoin network.

Twitter Tips Come To Argentina

One of the compelling use cases for the Strike app has been integrating Strike into Twitter. Twitter recently implemented support for sending receiving tips in bitcoin on iOS and Android using the Strike application programming interface (API). This opened up a new way for content creators to receive compensation for their work in bitcoin from fans. With the Argentinian rollout, fans can send tips to those in the U.S., El Salvador, and Argentina.

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