Strike Infrastructure Update: We Now Serve Customers on Our Own Infrastructure
Yo. Today, I’m excited to share an update on Strike’s capabilities and infrastructure.
At Strike, our mission is Better Money. In order to better serve our mission to users here in the U.S. and around the world, we knew that we needed to own and operate all of our own infrastructure ourselves.
From engineering, to security, to licensing, and much more, this has been the culmination of over two years of effort to best support our users, our mission, and Bitcoin.
That’s why as of today, I’m proud to announce Strike now owns and operates all of its own infrastructure for customers. Strike now custodies customer bitcoin and dollars, which means no custodial intermediaries between us and our users.
This is a major milestone in reducing counterparty risk, enhancing the quality of our services, and ensuring the robustness and performance of our products.
With that, let’s walk through all that this means for us as a company and you as a user.
Strike now provides direct bitcoin custody for all of our users! Before diving into the details of our infrastructure, it’s important to note that we always encourage and support our users to withdraw their bitcoin to self-custody. For users that aren’t quite ready for self-custody or would like to keep an amount of bitcoin on our platform, I want to share more about our bitcoin custody practices and all that we’ve built from an infrastructure perspective.
When considering custodying bitcoin, security is paramount. We designed and architected our systems and processes with redundancy in mind, leveraging the benefits of multisig vaults and geographically distributed keys which are encrypted and backed up both physically and digitally to ensure we have no central points of failure.
This gives us several advantages from a security perspective, to help ensure maximum security:
- Our keys are stored in different physical locations to ensure that we reduce the surface area of impact of local risks, such as natural disasters, fires, or localized political threats.
- Multisig allows us to prevent threats of malicious actors looking to physically compromise the system. If one location’s physical key is compromised, other locations’ keys remain secure and intact. Malicious actors will have an incomplete set of tools required to compromise the system.
- Digital backups are encrypted and stored on servers in different locations than our physical keys.
All bitcoin on Strike is backed 1:1. Our users own their entire balance at all times. The majority of the bitcoin in Strike’s custody is kept in cold storage, with a smaller portion of bitcoin reserved in our hot wallets for customers’ immediate transactional needs. We have robust internal controls in place to ensure your funds are secure.
Since embarking on the journey to build all of our own infrastructure, we haven’t only built new infrastructure, but we’ve also been able to build an amazing team of industry experts in engineering, security, devops, and legal divisions, respectively. The culmination of all of this work ensures we’re able to provide solutions directly to you all, focused on bitcoin, all while following best practices across engineering and security.
Lastly, transparency is vital to us and Bitcoin at large. We undergo third-party security assessments, including SOC2 certification, and conduct regular penetration testing. For those interested in learning more about our security posture, feel free to check out our Trust Portal. There is a lot more publicly available information and detail there!
Strike now provides direct financial services to all of our users! We custody our customers’ USD directly, at bank accounts held by Strike.
Before diving into the details of our infrastructure, it’s important to note that we always encourage and support our users to dump their dollars for sats… hah, kidding (kinda).
Strike is an ambitious company with goals to serve billions of customers. In order to better serve our mission and our customers, we decided to build, own, and operate all of our infrastructure and banking connectivity ourselves. For the last two years, we’ve worked to achieve all necessary licensing to serve customers directly. We’ve also worked to engineer all of our own infrastructure in order to provide amazing experiences focused on what our users want.
This change will drastically improve our user experience, our performance, our service reliability, and our ability to ship innovative products that you all want and need faster than ever before.
Bank deposits and withdrawals remain fully operational and continue to work as intended.
So what’s changed?
The main changes:
- Your U.S. dollars are now custodied by Strike, not by a third party.
- We now own and operate our own infrastructure, which allows us to serve users more reliably and securely. With this foundation, we can continue to deliver innovation and experiences that better serve our customers.
Lastly, to be clear, your funds are safe and secure on Strike and we’re excited to serve customers directly with our own licensing and infrastructure!
Transparency is key here: while there is no doubt in the long term our infrastructure transition will be net beneficial to users, we do want to highlight some areas of the product that may be impacted in the short term.
Direct Deposits, Pay Me In Bitcoin
As part of this transition to our own infrastructure, we are now working with a new set of banking partners directly. Unfortunately, this means we will need to transition all of our existing Direct Deposit Account & Routing Numbers to our new infrastructure and banking partners. We will be reaching out to any affected users to help make this transition as painless as possible.
To be clear, USD and bitcoin deposits and withdrawals remain fully operational.
We are currently transitioning to new card network partners as part of our overall transition to our own infrastructure.
We’re extremely excited about our new partners and infrastructure, as they enable us to deliver a better user experience and support new features such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, instant withdrawals, and more.
For now, existing card deposits are fully functional and operating normally. However, as we continue to make this transition, we may see interruptions in card deposits while we complete the transition to our new partners.
As always, I’ll keep everyone updated.
Because of our infrastructure enhancements, we’ve begun rolling out a lot of awesome new features and capabilities that are now live.
P2P Bitcoin On Strike
Strike users can now send sats to any other Strike user, including Global users in all of our new global markets!
When viewing your bitcoin balance, users will now see the ability to Send. To send sats to another Strike user, simply tap Send and then tap Strike user.
Receive Incoming Payments As Cash Or Bitcoin
All Strike users can now configure their account to receive incoming payments as cash or bitcoin!
If you’re a Strike user that uses your Strike account to process and/or receive payments as cash final USD over Lightning, you can now set your preferences to receive all payments as cash.
If you’re a Strike user that has your Strike Lightning Address set on NOSTR, your Strike account linked to your Twitter, or are a bitcoin HODLer that’s starving for sats, you can now set all incoming payments to be received as bitcoin.
To configure this setting, simply navigate to your Profile Settings, head to Personal Information, and set your incoming payments to either Cash or Bitcoin.
Lightning & On-Chain Payments From Your Cash And/Or Bitcoin Balance
All users can now make both Lightning & On-Chain payments from either their cash or bitcoin balance.
When tapping on a Lightning invoice on your mobile device, Strike users will now see an option to select from which balance they’d like to pay the Lightning invoice. If you’d like to keep your sats and spend your cash, you can do so. If you’d like to live on bitcoin, you can do so.
Here I zapped Jack on Nostr, opted to spend my cash.
Strike users can also now make payments and withdraw over Lightning from their bitcoin balance as well.
Deposit To Your Bitcoin Balance via Lightning & On-Chain
All Strike users can now deposit bitcoin via the Lightning Network and on-chain!
Simply navigate to your bitcoin balance, hit request, and enter the amount of bitcoin you’d like to deposit.
Tiered On-Chain Payments
Strike now supports tiered on-chain payments from both your Cash balance and your Bitcoin balance.
As recent activity in bitcoin has caused slower on-chain settlement times, users told us that they’d prefer to have the option to choose between a priority on-chain payment, a standard on-chain payment, and a slower on-chain payment. So, Strike now gives you these options when making an on-chain payment:
- Priority: ~10 minutes, fees, most expensive
- Standard: ~1 hour, fees, less expensive than priority
- Flexible: ~12 hours, no fees, free
Here is a demo where I send $50 of my Cash to my bitcoin cold storage with priority.
This feature is currently rolling out on both iOS and Android as we speak.
Smash Buy & The Beginning Of Higher Limits
The limits must die!
We’ve heard loud and clear from everyone that they love buying bitcoin on Strike and only wish they could buy more sats on Strike.
Well, we may be able to do something about that. Today marks the beginning of our journey to let users buy as much bitcoin on Strike as their heart desires.
We’ve started to slowly roll out what we internally call Smash Buy. This feature allows Strike users to make large purchases from a linked bank account.
Here I Smash Bought $5,000 of bitcoin from my linked bank account. LFG.
This feature is rolling out slowly. As of writing, this feature is available to ~10% of Android users and ~5% of iOS users. Along with this feature, users should also see increased deposit limits.
Currently, we are testing certain accounts with Smash Buy up to $25,000. Our goal is to monitor and test over the coming weeks, and work our way towards allowing users to purchase up to $100,000 per week with a linked bank account.
This also lays the infrastructure for users to use all of Strike with a linked payment method. The goal is to allow users to make cross-border payments, P2P other users, make Lightning payments, on-chain payments, DCA, Smash Buy bitcoin, and more, all from a linked payment method.
As I mentioned, we’re rolling this out a bit slower than other features. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to contact our support or tag myself or Strike on Twitter.
Our infrastructure upgrade offers us a tremendous amount of opportunity to build our existing products better and deliver new products at a rapid pace and scale.
In the immediate, we plan to continue transitioning partners onto our new infrastructure and improve functionality such as our card network capabilities and our Direct Deposit capabilities. I will keep everyone updated.
Speaking more broadly, Strike has some serious ambitions. Global on/off ramps, instant withdrawals, new DCA capabilities, continuing to improve our limits, more cross-currency capabilities, and more things we hope to bring soon. Above all, we’ll continue to listen to you and build products that you want.
We care deeply about our users, and we care deeply about delivering people a Better Money experience all over the world.
If you have feedback, ideas, insights, or anything else you’d want us to know, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to tag Strike or myself on Twitter/Nostr. We want to hear from you and we’ll be here to listen, help, and keep building.