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Bitcoin and the Lightning Network are moving payments globally

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Welcome back to Chain Reaction, a podcast diving deep into the stories, backgrounds and latest news with the biggest names in crypto.

For this week’s episode, Jacquelyn interviewed Jack Mallers, the founder and CEO of Strike, a bitcoin-based payment network and financial app that is trying to expand the reach of cross-border payments and remittance markets.

Last year, Mallers’ company raised $80 million in a Series B round to grow into that space, and today counts major companies like Visa, Clover and Fiserv among its partners.

“I think it’s about meeting consumers where they are and solving a problem for them,” Mallers said.

Mallers is also the CEO of Zap, a bitcoin investment and payments company that transacts on the Lightning Network, which is a second layer on Bitcoin’s blockchain that allows for off-chain transactions between parties.

“We’re a business involved with Bitcoin but we don’t care about its price,” Mallers said. “We use Bitcoin and the Lightning Network for payments, so we’re actually using Bitcoin, the instrument, to move value around the world. But our customers spend and receive dollars, or spend and receive euros, or spend and receive stablecoins.”

The service works if Bitcoin is $1 or $1 million, Mallers said. The business isn’t reliant on the price but is “using it as a technological innovation in the world of payments.”

We discussed Mallers’ backstory, how he got into the Bitcoin scene as a young adult, whether the Lightning Network could be better than the payment networks that exist today and how big players can enter the space. This episode was heavily focused on Bitcoin, so buckle up.

We also dove into:

  • Lightning Network’s global potential
  • El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin
  • Creating new infrastructure to make Bitcoin more accessible
  • The future of the Strike and Bitcoin ecosystems

“I do think Lightning will serve as the single value transfer protocol for the earth,” Mallers said. “But, I think, as we evolve in the early innings of this journey, the lowest-hanging fruit is: how do you get fiscal value across planet earth? That’s why we start there and focus there.”

Chain Reaction comes out every other Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT, so be sure to subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up with the latest in web3 and crypto.

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