(Last Updated on August 12, 2021)
It has never been easier, faster, and cheaper to buy Bitcoin directly off the Bitcoin network.
This has been my favorite tool for weekly dollar cost average purchases directly to my hardware wallet.
Now the latest upgrade to Strike includes functionality as a custodial mobile wallet.
Gamechanger for daily usage and small transactions.
New Bitcoin tab?
Now it takes only a few clicks to transact over a complex layer 2 solution through the largest and strongest decentralized computing network in the world.
The Strike app by Jack Maller’s blew my mind upon first use. Seeing how inclusive and evolutionary the technology is for future Bitcoin users by helping connect ACH and the Bitcoin network through a new protocol called “The Lightning Network“. The implications of this bridge with the traditional banking system and what I consider the future of money, BTC, is impressive. Once they gained traction with FDIC approval, I recognized that this simple mobile app is going to revolutionize how payments systems operate quickly. No other payment network can compete with the advantages of utilizing a fully decentralized, SHA-256 encrypted, and constantly validated network, anytime, anywhere, worldwide.
The combination through cryptocurrency code of the U.S. ACH + Lightning Network protocol is a powerful financial invention in the an industry bloated with fees, slow settlements, and hurdles for individuals. This amazing side-chain protocol is built on top of the most powerful decentralized computing network in the world. It is slowly starting to become known and disrupt competing third party payment solutions and international money transmitters in the United States.
The recent adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender by El Salvador brought more awareness to Strike’s influence and utility to grant financial freedom instantly to individuals and possibly countries.
Much of Strike’s popularity in El Salvador great from a place called Bitcoin Beach. The ability to instantly transmit satoshis at low fees for simple sales contracts developed into a growing financial infrastructure for a small town. Not only enabling individuals and small businesses to invest and grow digital assets, but utilize them to hedge and transact outside of fiat currencies for various economic advantages.
A custodial wallet removes any additional steps of setting up an online wallet or hardware device. Instead this makes it instantaneous for any user to buy, sell, and hodl satoshis.
The latest upgrade with a custodial wallet instantly streamlines the entire complex process of blockchain cryptography into a few simple clicks.
Charts are pretty too. But there are no technical analysis or other trading features.
Simple spot buys and sells only directly off the blockchain.
The latest Strike App upgrade includes a custodial Bitcoin wallet
I think Jack and the team at Strike were focused on onboarding and improving the day to day experience for users around the world.
The BTC Tab brings a more user friendly wallet to the app and limits user hassle in figuring out how to setup an offline cold storage wallet or a separate, hot wallet online.
Buy directly off the Bitcoin network -> pay only on-chain network fees -> store BTC on the Strike mobile wallet
Crossing all borders, age gaps, technology gaps, and lack thereof, to bring Bitcoin commerce through mobile networks. It isn’t only in the high tech first world cities where individuals have access to Amazon and crypto wallets, but for the third world countries that only have access to the internet through a phone.
Imagine your only way to access the internet is through a smartphone and you have no access to financial tools, banks, or other instruments like lending.
Adding a custodial wallet feature just made it unbelievably easy for new users to download, sign-in, and instantly use a layer 2 solution to purchase and store their first satoshis on their smartphone. Pretty rad and it is all put in an extremely easy to use and ergonomic mobile app.
This instantly puts a mobile bank in your pocket that grants you access to send, receive, and store Bitcoin. No hurdles, no nonsense, no gatekeepers.
Jack Mallers on CNBC August 12th, 2021
Great clip released today interviewing Jack Maller’s on his motivations and reasoning behind building his layer 2 solution on top of the BTC network.
He eloquently expands on the focus to provide decentralized mobile banks built on the lightning network to meet the exploding global demands for new digital monetary infrastructure. To supply financial freedoms, savings, digital commerce, and asset access for the millions of unbanked individuals of the world.
Fighting the central banks and loss of financial freedoms that are growing daily through the coding of open source software available and free for all to access.
Strike’s custodial wallet is a gamechanger for daily usage
Strike is made possible through utilizing a layer 2 side-chain called the Lightning Network which basically combines many smaller transactions “off-chain” into one larger and simpler transaction for validation over the primary Bitcoin network. The Lightning Network helps improve efficiency and reduce congestion over the main Bitcoin network while also reducing fees per user.
This has resulted in producing one of the fastest and most network efficient ways to buy Bitcoin.
-> Cheap and efficient for small purchases
-> Lowers congestion and fees on the main network
-> Extremely fast settlements anywhere in the world
-> Lightning contracts can be created instantly for businesses and customers across many web payment platforms or in person
This custodial mobile wallet utilizes the lightning network and only incurs on-chain fees. These fees range as low as a few dollars per thousands worth of Bitcoin or can increase to $10 or $50 dollars for a large transactions during times of high congestion. Most of the time you will see purchases incur on-chain fees below 1$ of your transaction amount using LN.
No transfer fees, withdrawal fees, no price premiums, nada..
You cannot beat this layer 2 solution for speed and cost efficiency.
It is accessible by all users and greatly eliminates the confusion and/or need for an additional Bitcoin wallet. Streamlining for easier use and faster buy/sells over the lightning network and helping empower many individuals to utilize their phone as their main wallet for day to day transactions.
But can you trust it for storing Bitcoin?
I’m always reminded of the most important quote in Bitcoin, “Not your keys, not your coins!”
Strike’s app is not secured by a seed phrase and cannot utilize 2FA authentication – it is fast and loose, pros and cons, but not at all secure for HODLing long term.
While adding a custodial wallet is great for day to day transactions and for receiving lightning payments as a vendor, store, business, etc. It isn’t a secure method of securing keys long term as you do not have a seed phrase or ownership of keys.
This is a custodial “hot” wallet that is built on a layer 2 protocol and should be treated as such.
Great for daily shopping and dining, or purchasing goods from a local retailer, but I wouldn’t trust myself to protect large sums of Bitcoin in an unguarded mobile app.
If your phone is unlocked, anyone can open the app and move Bitcoin
If you lose your phone, you lose your Bitcoin..
What are my recommendations for security?
Most secure -> Transfer Bitcoin from your Strike app directly to your hardware wallet anytime larger balances build up
Less secure -> Transfer Bitcoin to a software wallet like BlueWallet, Samurai, or another trusted wallet to secure your keys and establish 2FA authentication
The custodial wallet is a great feature and addition to the app, but still need to take additional steps to secure your long term Bitcoin holdings and major investments. Do not get caught being lazy or wonton with your security.
What are the basics of how Strike works?
ACH + The Lightning Network = Strike
This is an FDIC insured, U.S. regulated bank account on your smartphone sitting in your pocket that transacts through the Bitcoin blockchain utilizing a layer 2 side-chain protocol called “The Lightning Network”.
-> Can settle in fiat currency or Bitcoin globally.
-> Pay only on-chain transaction fees – No withdrawal or deposit fees, no exchange premiums.
-> Lightning Network creates off-chain group transaction batches that reduce network congestion while increasing speeds and lowering fees.
Bittrex has teamed up with Strike to help bring them to additional countries throughout the globe. Currently it is available in the United States except Hawaii and New York, El Salvador, and some of Europe has beta access. I think we can expect to see a lot more Central American and South American countries getting onboard through 2022 with Mexico and Canada soon to come as well.