Bitcoin payment and wallet company Strike has partnered with fintech giant Fiserv to integrate Bitcoin’s lightning network with the point-of-sale terminal provider, Clover.
This will allow certain Clover merchants to accept lightning payments, expanding Bitcoin’s use case as a medium of exchange.
Dollars Over Lightning
As explained by Strike CEO Jack Mallers over Twitter on Thursday, the integration effectively allows Clover to accept “cash-final” USD over lightning. Strike’s service converts Bitcoin payments into a merchant’s currency of choice on the back end, letting merchants accept alternative forms of payment – like Bitcoin.
“This doesn’t integrate Strike. This integrates Lightning,” clarified Mallers in his tweet. “Anyone can use any service to checkout at any enabled merchant. If it can make a Lightning payment, you can use it.”
Strike is a custodial platform offering various features to Bitcoin users, including the ability to receive one’s salary in Bitcoin, or interact with the lightning network. However, Strike’s efforts allow alternative lightning wallets, including CashApp and Muun wallet, to operate with Clover.
That said, not all Clover merchants have been enabled yet. Thursday marked the beginning of a 90-day pilot period, during which Strike will measure the new lightning-based system’s cost and settlement speeds compared to other networks, alongside any new business that lightning attracts.
After the pilot, Strike will look to integrate with Clover directly through its App Store.
“This would enable Lightning as an accepted payment network for all Clover merchants by default, sitting next to card networks like Visa and MasterCard,” he said.
Mallers is a loud proponent of Bitcoin’s lightning network as a superior payment network compared to legacy alternatives. In an interview with Yahoo Finance last year, he called it cheaper, faster, global, more inclusive, and more innovative than its competitors, arguing that it can interface with dollars just as well as BTC.
Strike’s Grand Mission
At Bitcoin 2022 last year in Miami, Mallers revealed that Strike had partnered with Shopify, Blackhawk, and NCR, to integrate lightning for merchants across the United States, much like its doing with Clover. This would enable lightning payments at multiple leading American retailers, including McDonald’s, Walmart, and Macy’s.
While originally promised to be fully implemented within 2022, Mallers published a blog post at the end of December admitting that his timelines for the integrations were off.
“These partnerships and developments are huge and they’re simply going to take a bit longer than I initially thought,” he wrote.
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