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Strike Brings The Lightning Network To Every US Merchant. The Market Yawns
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The Strike announcement was an atomic bomb, but the market is not impressed. Since Jack Mallers wasn’t there to reveal an Apple deal as rumored, the general public was somewhat disappointed. However, the Strike CEO announced something much bigger. The company partnered with Blackhawk and NCR to bring Lightning Network transactions to Point Of Sale terminals all over the United States. Plus, with Shopify for the e-commerce equivalent. 

The man was playing third-dimensional chess with us. Mallers titled the presentation “The King’s Gambit,” an alternative to the “pawn to e4” chess opening he usually mentions. Here’s the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD2-T7TX2rk

Inside Strike ‘s Announcement

The presentation started with a brief history of payment networks, starting in 1949 with the invention of the Diner’s Club card. The first revelation comes next: payment networks have not evolved or innovated in 50 years. The legacy financial system is still using this ancient technology like there’s no tomorrow. 

As usual, Strike’s Jack Mallers proposes to the world that it should join an “open payment standard.” That it should use a “superior payment network.“ And with these partnerships, he finally accomplishes it. Strike will use the bitcoin network as payment rails to enable Lightning Network transactions in a high percentage of merchants in the US. According to Mallers, bitcoin will finally be “embedded into our lives.”

Another interesting part of the story is Senator Cynthia Lummis’ support. According to a letter she sent to Mallers, she says “I am working to bring smart legislation to the digital assets space, so that innovations like this can be integrated into America’s financial services industry.“ That’s reassuring. Because chances are legacy players will fight this. 

The senator will speak tomorrow, on Bitcoin 2022’s final day of conference. 

BTCUSD price chart for 04/08/2022 - TradingView

BTC price chart for 04/08/2022 on Oanda | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

How Did The News Affect The Market?

The general public was expecting Strike to announce an Apple partnership that would’ve made bitcoin’s price pump to infinity. It didn’t get it. So, bitcoin traded around the $43K range the whole day and acted unaffected in front of Jack Mallers’ news. It seems like the market didn’t even flinch. 

More nuanced than an Apple partnership, it will take months, maybe years to see the new’s impact. On the one hand, people aren’t incentivized to spend their bitcoin. As long as its price is increasing, people will want to hold the asset. On the other, this provides a non-KYC way to spend your bitcoin. A non-KYC way of paying. The Strike announcement makes bitcoin a competing Medium of Exchange and puts it into every store in the US.

Is that fact priced in? 

What Does The Twitterati Think About Strike ‘s News? 

The Guy Swann sums up the announcement by declaring it’ll “kick off the Bitcoin circular economy in a massive way. I think few understand that the inability to easily use BTC is what makes it difficult to accept as a daily driver.” For his part, podcaster Anthony Pompliano said, “Hundreds of millions of people can now spend bitcoin or dollars across the Lightning Network instantaneously, completely for free at every major US retailer.”

In a phenomenal thread, Economist Lyn Alden explains the implications. “The more places that accepted BTC at point of sale (on-chain or Lightning or otherwise), the more permissionless the whole network is. This is because, if all you can do with BTC is convert it back into fiat on a major exchange, then it’s easy to isolate it, effectively blacklist addresses, etc.”

On the other hand, notorious YouTuber Bitboy Crypto misses the point completely and says. “Michael Saylor: Never Sell your Bitcoin (crowd goes WILD) Jack Mallers: Here’s a great way to spend your Bitcoin (Crowd goes WILD) Like does no one see the disconnect here?” 

Matt Ahlborg, head of research at Bitrefil, gives Bitboy the 411. “What Jack Mallers is really saying is that you will be soon be able to offload your Bitcoins in the real world without KYC’ing through an exchange first.” While Jack Dorsey keeps it short and sweet by saying, “thank you Jack Mallers. you’re an incredible inspiration.”

The whole world changed after that Strike announcement. It might feel similar, but we’re living in bitcoin world now. Make of that what you will. 

Featured Image: Jack Mallers at Bitcoin 2022 taken from this tweet | Charts by TradingView

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