• Strike CEO Jack Mallers detailed the new partnership Thursday at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami
  • Traditional payment processors haven’t innovated in more than 50 years, Mallers said

In a move to revitalize the payments processing industry, which Strike CEO Jack Mallers said Thursday has been stagnant for 55 years, the company unveiled a partnership with Shopify to facilitate bitcoin-to-cash payments over the Lightning Network. 

The setup is live now with Los Angeles-based streetwear designer Warren Lotas, with the plan being to add additional merchants in the coming months, Mallers said at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami.

Railing against a “boomeristic” credit card system that started when “rich dudes” didn’t want to carry around wads of cash to buy caviar at high-end Manhattan restaurants, Mallers posited bitcoin as a solution to fees, transfer times and settlement issues that plague the traditional financial system.

Not content with targeting the online payments market, Strike — a digital payments platform based on the Lightning network — has also moved to enable in-person transactions via Lightning, connected by a user’s bitcoin wallet of choice. The company partnered with alternative payments processor Blackhawk and point-of-sale provider NCR to facilitate such transactions. 

Dressed casually with his trademark hat, Mallers, through bits of laughter and profanity, presented himself as “just this kid from Chicago” in a stark contrast from the buttoned-up CEOs of traditional finance. 

“In reality, payment networks have not innovated in over 50 years,” Mallers said. “That’s insane…that’s ridiculous.”

Mallers has also been working with political heavyweights, including the bitcoiner Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., to “get this done.”

The idea is to roll out in-person bitcoin payments at scores of retailers, including Chipotle, Whole Foods and Walmart. 

There’s no word yet on whether the companies have opted in to the proposal — or any reaction from old-school payment processors that rely on fees for moving money. Strike’s transactions, which are instantly settled, cut down parties from five to two: the buyer and the seller.

“Anyone can build anything, man,” Mallers said. “Anyone can build anything.”


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  • Managing Editor
    Michael Bodley is a New York-based managing editor for Blockworks, where he focuses on the intersection of Wall Street and digital assets. He previously worked for the institutional investor newsletter Hedge Fund Alert. His work has been published in The Boston Globe, NBC News, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post. Contact Michael via email at [email protected]