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Strike CEO announces Shopify partnership, new payment network

Mobile payment app Strike has partnered with Shopify, alternative payment provider Blackhawk Network and point-of-sale supplier NCR to create a new US payment system that allows merchants to quickly receive payments in dollars after people pay with crypto.

The Lightning Network-based system will work with online purchases from merchants using Shopify, as well as point-of-sale transactions at many large chain stores.

“It’s a new, innovative, superior payments rail that is finally embedded and distributed into our lives,” Strike CEO Jack Mallers explained to a packed crowd at a Miami Bitcoin conference on Thursday afternoon. He then showed a video of himself using it to check out at a Chicago grocery store.

“You’re going to be able to walk into a grocery store, to a Whole Foods, to Chipotle, you want to use a Lightning node over Tor, you do that,” Mallers said. “You want to use the Cash App? You do that,” Mallers said to cheers and applause from the audience.

Mallers showed a list of major U.S. companies that he says would be able to accept payments this way, including McDonald’s, CVS, Walgreens, Whole Foods and Wal-Mart, in addition to several other grocery stores and restaurants.

“Strike’s integration is accessible by any consumer in the world with a Bitcoin Lightning Network-enabled wallet, including more than 70 million CashApp users,” Strike said in an April 7 press statement about the Shopify integration. One of its first partners is the popular Los Angeles-based streetwear brand Warren Lotas.

Mallers announced the new payment network to a packed room, building up the announcements with a speech called “The King’s Gambit” that described a history of payment networks and credit cards and gave an overview of how card transactions work. 

Mallers teased the announcement on Twitter and in an interview in the days leading up to the conference, revealing that his talk would likely have something to do with connecting merchants to crypto. 

According to Mallers’ presentation, Blackhawk Network is integrated with 400,000 storefronts and has 37,000 partners. Point-of-sale supplier (POS) NCR is responsible for one in six POS systems worldwide, another slide added.

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