Lighting network provider Strike expands to Philippines
The Philippines, with a remittance market of $35 billion, is one of the world’s largest.
Send Globally, a remittance service on Bitcoin Layer 2 scaling solution provider Strike Lighting Network, will be available in the Philippines starting Jan. 31.
The country has a remittance market of $35 billion, which is one of the world’s largest.
Strike has partnered with Bitcoin payments firm Pouch.ph in the Philippines to deliver its Lighting Network. Any money sent using the service can be received in the Philippine Peso, allowing it to then enter the recipient’s bank or mobile money account with relative ease.
Founded by Jack Mallers in 2019, Strike is an API used by merchants to accept payments from customers globally. The Philippines is only the fourth country to accept the system, which is currently available in the U.S. (excluding Hawaii, New York and South Dakota), El Salvador and Argentina.
Powered by the Bitcoin blockchain’s Lightning Network, Strike rose to prominence on the heels of El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele commitment at the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami, which allowed his country to start accepting payments in Bitcoin via the Strike network, in the hopes also of aiding with remittances.
“Strike takes advantage of Bitcoin’s open payment network to provide customers with the first world wide peer-to-peer payments software and a cutting-edge neobanking experience that is native to Bitcoin.”
In 2021, Filipinos working in the United States sent around 12.7 billion U.S. dollars in cash remittances to the Philippines. Cash remittances sent to the Philippines from the U.S. have gradually increased over the years.
Studies have shown that the remittance industry worldwide is plagued by high fees and slow processing times. In an interview with CoinDesk, Mallers said he hopes to also launch in countries like Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana soon, too.
In Nigeria, a significant BTC premium took hold this week amid demonetization efforts in the country’s central bank led many to flee to crypto, with local peer-to-peer traders selling BTC at prices as high as $62.499 on LocalBitcoins, 163.77% above the current BTC price of $23,694.
Mallers also said he was nonplussed about tax concerns in the US. “There’s all sorts of tax consequences involved – if I wanted to remit money from here to the Philippines, I have to tell the IRS about it. That’s ridiculous,” Maller told CoinDesk. “We use the properties of Lightning under the hood. So our users don’t even know we’re using it. They’re just sending dollars and receiving pesos.”