Strike Expands to 65 Countries and Moves Global Headquarters to El Salvador
According to Strike CEO Jack Mallers, the expansion drive aims to counter the “clouded world of crypto exchanges and hidden unregistered licensing regimes, and 1,000 different coins.”
Strike, a Chicago-based Bitcoin payment provider, has expanded its services to 65 countries while relocating its global headquarters to El Salvador. Previously, the mobile app was only operational in the United States, El Salvador, and Argentina.
Jack Mallers, the CEO and founder of Zap, Strike’s parent company, stated that the expansion is a response to the growing anti-crypto regulatory sentiments in the United States. He revealed this in an interview with Fortune, emphasizing the need to address the “clouded world of crypto exchanges and hidden, unregistered licensing regimes and 1,000 different coins.”
Regulatory Landscape and Motivation for Relocation
On one hand, regulations prevent Strike from offering its service in New York, while on the other hand, El Salvador has introduced crypto-inclusive regulations to attract technological innovations in the region.
Mallers highlighted El Salvador’s success in establishing Bitcoin as a legal tender, stating that merchant adoption alone does not define success. Instead, he weighed El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption success based on factors such as increased tourism.
Initially, Strike will allow users in the new global markets to receive Bitcoin. However, Mallers revealed plans to launch new features, including a debit card, by the end of the year. For markets outside the U.S., Strike will enable U.S. dollar payments via Tether.
“Two years ago, people would have made fun of me [for our] headquarters in El Salvador to launch a product for three billion people, but now Coinbase is fighting with Gary Gensler,” Mallers remarked. “Who’s laughing now?”
Strike and Bitfinex: Pioneers in El Salvador
Strike and crypto exchange Bitfinex were among the first crypto companies to obtain operational licenses in El Salvador.
El Salvador’s digital asset service provider license allows Bitfinex “to facilitate the issuance and secondary trading of assets” with clearly defined rights and obligations in the jurisdiction.