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Strike introduces Bitcoin payment options in seven African countries

Strike, a Bitcoin-focused payments application, has announced the exciting launch of its services in seven African countries, signaling a significant expansion into the continent. The countries included in this initial rollout are Gabon, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia. This move reflects Strike’s commitment to extending its reach to more African markets in the future.

As a product of the Chicago-based startup Zap, Strike functions similarly to mobile payment applications like Cash App or Venmo but sets itself apart by utilizing blockchain technology for transactions. This innovative approach allows users in the aforementioned African countries to engage in buying and selling Bitcoin (BTC) and the dollar stablecoin USDT. Moreover, the application provides local fiat currency on-ramps and off-ramps, alongside global payments via Bitcoin’s Lightning network. This network facilitates low-cost, speedy transactions for both transfers and cross-border payments, offering users a seamless and efficient experience.

The introduction of Strike Africa comes at a crucial time when Bitcoin and stablecoins are gaining traction in countries with high inflation rates and unstable financial systems, such as Argentina and Turkey. Nigeria, Africa’s largest market, has witnessed a notable surge in crypto adoption, with individuals turning to digital assets to hedge against local currency devaluation. The Nigerian naira has experienced a staggering decline in value, dropping by almost 50% against the U.S. dollar in recent times.

Strike’s expansion into Africa underscores the company’s belief in the continent as a fertile ground for financial innovation and economic freedom. The firm recognizes the challenges many African countries face with high inflation rates and devaluing currencies, which hinder residents’ ability to save and accumulate wealth.

This strategic move follows Strike’s announcement last year of its plans to extend its operations to over 65 countries, targeting not only Africa but also Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean. In November, Strike made its services accessible globally, enabling users in over 35 countries to purchase BTC through its app, albeit with a 3.9% fee for non-U.S. customers.

In a related development, Strike CEO Jack Mallers recently disclosed his decision to completely divest from the U.S. dollar, underscoring his unwavering commitment to Bitcoin. Mallers, a staunch advocate for Bitcoin, has openly criticized U.S. monetary policies and emphasized his belief in Bitcoin’s potential to counter fiat debasement. He points to Bitcoin’s fixed supply and decentralized nature as key advantages, aligning with his broader conviction that Bitcoin embodies American values such as personal freedom, equal opportunity, and innovation.

This latest expansion into Africa not only showcases Strike’s dedication to advancing financial inclusion and accessibility but also illustrates the growing importance of digital assets in today’s evolving economic landscape. As Strike continues to forge ahead with its global expansion plans, its impact on the financial industry and its support for the adoption of cryptocurrencies remain pivotal in shaping the future of finance.

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