Chicago-based Bitcoin (BTC) payment provider Strike has expanded its services to 65 countries and relocated its global headquarters to El Salvador. Prior to this expansion, the mobile app was only available in the United States, El Salvador and Argentina.
The expansion drive, according to Jack Mallers, the CEO and founder of Zap, Strike’s parent company, aims to counter the “clouded world of crypto exchanges and hidden, unregistered licensing regimes and 1,000 different coins.” Speaking to Fortune, Mallers revealed that relocating its headquarters to El Salvador was a response to the growing anti-crypto regulatory sentiments in the United States.
Regulations prevent Strike from offering its service in New York while El Salvador has introduced crypto-inclusive regulations to attract technological innovations in the region.
3/ El Salvador is the epicenter of Bitcoin adoption, and thus, economic freedom, financial sovereignty, censorship resistance & unconfiscatable wealth.
When we issue the first of the volcano bonds, we will once again be blazing the path forward for this new monetary revolution.
— The Bitcoin Office (@bitcoinofficesv) January 11, 2023
Mallers spoke about El Salvador’s success in establishing Bitcoin as a legal tender during a discussion. He believes merchant adoption “wasn’t what was defining success.” Instead, he weighed El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption success in other factors, including increased tourism.
At first, Strike will only allow users in the new markets to receive Bitcoin, but Mallers revealed plans to launch new features, including a debit card, by the end of the year. For non-US markets, Strike will offer U.S. dollar payments via Tether (USDT).
“Two years ago, people would have made fun of me [for our] headquarters in El Salvador to launch product for three billion people, but now Coinbase is fighting with Gary Gensler,” he said. “Who’s laughing now?” Mallers concluded.
Related: US lawmakers target perceived risks of crypto adoption in El Salvador with reintroduced bill
Strike and crypto exchange Bitfinex were among the first crypto companies to be granted operational licenses in El Salvador.
We are now the world’s first international digital asset platform to receive approval for a Digital Asset Service Provider license under El Salvador’s new Digital Assets Issuance Law! A milestone for financial freedom in Latin America.@bitfinex https://t.co/88Mmmi5s6M
— Bitfinex Securities (@BFXSecurities) April 11, 2023
El Salvador’s digital asset service provider license permits Bitfinex “to facilitate the issuance and secondary trading of assets” with defined rights and obligations in the jurisdiction.