Strike, a Chicago-based Bitcoin (BTC) payment provider, expanded its services to 65 countries in parallel to relocating its global headquarters to El Salvador. Before its expansion, the mobile app was operational only in the United States, El Salvador and Argentina.
According to Jack Mallers, the CEO and founder of Zap, Strike’s parent company, the expansion drive aims to counter the “clouded world of crypto exchanges and hidden, unregistered licensing regimes and 1,000 different coins.” Speaking to Fortune, Mallers revealed that the move to relocate its headquarters to El Salvador was a response to the growing anti-crypto regulatory sentiments in the U.S.
On one hand, regulations prevent Strike from offering its service in New York. On the other hand, El Salvador introduced crypto-inclusive regulations to attract technological innovations in the region.
3/ El Salvador is the epicenter of Bitcoin adoption, and thus, economic freedom, financial sovereignty, censorship resistance & unconfiscatable wealth.
When we issue the first of the volcano bonds, we will once again be blazing the path forward for this new monetary revolution.
— The Bitcoin Office (@bitcoinofficesv) January 11, 2023
During the discussion, Mallers spoke about El Salvador’s success in establishing Bitcoin as a legal tender. He believed that merchant adoption “wasn’t what was defining success.” Instead, he weighed El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption success in terms of other factors including increased tourism.
Strike will initially allow users in the new global markets to only receive Bitcoin, however, Mallers revealed plans to launch new features by the end of the year, including a debit card. For markets outside the US, Strike will enable U.S. dollar payments via Tether (USDT).
“Two years ago, people would have made fun of me [for our] headquarters in El Salvador to launch product for three billion people, but now Coinbase is fighting with Gary Gensler,” he said. “Who’s laughing now?,” Mallers concluded.
Related: US lawmakers target perceived risks of crypto adoption in El Salvador with reintroduced bill
Strike and crypto exchange Bitfinix were among the first crypto companies to bag operational licenses in El Salvador.
We are now the world’s first international digital asset platform to receive approval for a Digital Asset Service Provider license under El Salvador’s new Digital Assets Issuance Law! A milestone for financial freedom in Latin America.@bitfinex https://t.co/88Mmmi5s6M
— Bitfinex Securities (@BFXSecurities) April 11, 2023
El Salvador’s Digital Asset Service provider license allows Bitfinex Securities “to facilitate the issuance and secondary trading of assets” with clearly defined rights and obligations in the jurisdiction.