Zap Announces Global Expansion and Upgrades to Its Strike Product
Lightning startup Zap is marking a significant expansion as it looks to hit the ground running in 2021.
Earlier this week, Jack Mallers, the company’s founder, announced the launch of Strike Global – an initiative that will see Zap expand its business and take its operations even broader.
Easy Money Transfers
In his announcement, Mallers explained that Strike had been working for the past few months and was now partnering with crypto giant Bittrex Global.
The partnership will see the firm launch in over 200 countries, while also onboarding over a million Bittrex users to its service.
Strike is one of Zap’s most important projects. Announced last year, the app allows users to make Lightning payments with their debit cards or bank accounts, bypassing the need for wallets, nodes, and other peripherals. Built on Zap’s Olympus infrastructure, the app solves one of Bitcoin’s top mainstream problems – affecting seamless transfers.
With the new update, Zap brings Strike to a much broader audience, allowing more people to move their money around more easily. The service will also be implementing support for new fiat and crypto assets, including Tether, USD Circle, the Euro, and the Pound.
In his piece, Mallers criticized the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the global money transfer system being used by banks worldwide. While SWIFT currently powers about half of all international transfers, Mallers pointed out that it remains inefficient, mainly because of its costs.
Mallers also touched on the inefficiencies of TransferWise, another global payment processor. TransferWise came to solve some of the issues with SWIFT, but it still had problems with wait times – particularly for large fund transfers. With Strike, Zap seemingly found a way to amalgamate speed, low costs, and global coverage.
Getting Ready for a Big 2021
Speaking on the company’s plans, Mallers explained that Strike would be rolled out using an incremental approach. In part, he said:
“Strike is actively being tested in the US, EU, UK, and our El Salvador BETA is being deployed as we speak. We are going to continually widen access to Strike all over the world as the days go by.”
The founder added a development roadmap for the firm, showing that they plan to initiate a private and a public beta test in Q1 2021. The quarter will also see Strike onboard the Bittrex users to enjoy easier access to its service.
This year, they also hope to issue Strike Cards to customers in the United States and Europe. When he announced the Strike public beta last July, Mallers confirmed that Zap had entered VISA’s coveted FinTech Fast Track Program. The firm appears to still be in the program, and success will help ensure seamless card issuance.
Several other crypto firms have been inducted into the accelerator program. These include crypto exchange Coinbase and payment processor Wirex.