Bitcoin fintech giant Strike rolled out its Lightning Network money transfer service Send Globally in the Philippines, a $35 billion remittance market.
Send Globally launched in the Southeast Asian country on Jan. 31, 2023, enabling businesses and tourists to receive international money transfers in the Philippine peso. The country receives $35 billion in remittances globally.
How Strike’s Send Globally Service Works
“Remittances are a broken system and Strike delivers an incredibly empowering experience for people to send money around the world in nearly an instant,” Strike CEO Jack Mallers said.
According to a press release, Strike’s remittance service converts a sender’s fiat into Bitcoin and sends the Bitcoin to a Strike partner in the destination country using the Lightning Network, which in the case of the Philippines, is Pouch.ph. Pouch.ph then converts the Bitcoin to the recipient’s fiat currency and credits their bank or mobile money account, with Strike shielding both parties from the tax implications of handling Bitcoin directly.
Bitcoin’s Lightning Network is a layer-two solution on the Bitcoin blockchain that allows micropayments between nodes over a payment channel. Unlike traditional payment networks, Lightning’s low fees enable almost zero-cost remittances.
Recently, Mallers announced a trial to bring Bitcoin Lightning Network payments to retailers through a partnership with Fiserv’s point-of-sale solution Clover Commerce. The trial allows any application with Lightning capability to pay Bitcoin for goods and services at Clover merchants.
Philippine Smartphone and Internet Adoption Auger Well for Strike
Send Globally rolled out to Strike users in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya on Dec. 6, 2022, where it has reportedly gained rapid traction.
However, mainstream adoption in the Philippines will depend heavily on network effects, driven by smartphone and internet penetration.
According to Statista, the number of smartphone users will increase from 85 million in 2022 to 87 million by 2023. Additionally, forecasts suggest smartphone users will increase to 91.5 million in 2025, representing roughly 83% of the island nation’s population.
Additionally, Statista predicts that about three-quarters of the population will have internet access by the end of 2023. Growing internet access increases the chance of Strike’s success, since it helped drive adoption of crypto game Axie Infinity.
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