Announcing Strike by Zap

The Story

When describing Zap’s design and product decisions, I’ve frequently described Zap as available in response.

Volatility

The first very clear issue was bitcoin’s inherent volatility. Traditionally, bitcoin’s volatility has been seen as a feature. In markets, volatility screams opportunity, and it is bitcoin’s volatility (traditionally to the upside) that has attracted many of its existing users and market participants. One of the more popular value propositions of Bitcoin in its first 11 years of existence is wealth creation. Buying bitcoin, holding bitcoin, and having its value and purchasing power go up as time goes on.

Taxes

In the United States, bitcoin is taxed as property, and spending bitcoin in exchange for any good, service, or currency is a taxable event, plain and simple. Many do not know, but this extends to the Lightning Network and every single Lightning Network payment. Yes, purchase of your Fold and Bitrefill gift cards, your Yalls articles, and your Satoshis Place art are all taxable events that need to be reported to the IRS.

Creating A Wallet, Custody, and Owning Bitcoin

Many of our testers were not as familiar with Bitcoin as many reading this post. If we want millions of mainstream consumers benefiting from Bitcoin and Lightning, surely we should test with that audience in mind.

The Product

In order to accomplish this, a debit card or a bank account would need to be interoperable with Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, lowering the barrier of entry into this new economy. Users wouldn’t have to deal with volatility, they wouldn’t have to deal with taxes, they wouldn’t need to set up a wallet to interact with the protocols, and they wouldn’t even need to own bitcoin to scan a Lightning QR code. What if everyone’s bank account could speak Bitcoin?

What this means

Bank accounts and debit cards can now speak to nodes all over the world, and nodes all over the world can now speak to bank accounts and debit cards. The possibilities are endless and the sky is the limit.

Strike in the wild

There are real people using Strike today, let me tell you my favorite user story so far.

Strike being used at Helping Hands Herbals in Boulder, CO, USA

The Future

Lightning offers real-time, cheap, and global settlement and self-clearing to the world’s first natively digital asset class. We’ve put in the work to make the barrier of entry low, and the flexibility + ease of use high.

Thanks

Alright, everyone, that’s all I have for today. Not only am I unbelievably excited, but I have a new-found sense of ambition.

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