UK Welcomes Strike: Bitcoin Lightning App Now Available to Local Users

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UK Welcomes Strike: Bitcoin Lightning App Now Available to Local Users
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TLDR

Bitcoin payments app Strike has expanded its services to the United Kingdom.
Strike now operates in over 100 countries and territories globally.
UK users can buy, sell, send, withdraw, and make global payments using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network.
To comply with UK regulations, users must pass an “Appropriateness Assessment” quiz about Bitcoin risks.
Strike’s expansion comes as some other crypto companies have retreated from the UK market.

Strike, the popular Bitcoin payments app, has officially launched its services in the United Kingdom, marking a significant expansion of its global footprint. The move comes as part of Strike’s aggressive growth strategy, which has seen the company extend its operations to over 100 countries and territories worldwide.

Founded by Jack Mallers, Strike aims to make Bitcoin more accessible and functional for everyday users through its mobile application, which leverages the Lightning Network for fast and low-cost transactions. The UK launch follows Strike’s recent expansion into Europe and Africa earlier this year.

With a population of 67 million and as the sixth-largest economy globally, the UK presents “significant opportunities for Bitcoin adoption,” according to Mallers. The company’s decision to enter the UK market is particularly noteworthy as some other cryptocurrency firms have recently retreated from the country due to regulatory challenges.

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Strike App UK

Strike’s UK rollout offers several key features for local users. Customers can now buy Bitcoin directly with free unlimited GBP deposits from their bank accounts, where supported.

The app also enables automatic conversion, scheduled recurring purchases, and self-custody withdrawals. Users can sell their Bitcoin and withdraw funds to their bank accounts, transfer to self-custodial wallets, or make instant payments over the Bitcoin or Lightning Network.

One of Strike’s standout features is its utilization of the Lightning Network, a second-layer solution built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.

This technology enables fast and cost-effective micropayments, addressing some of the scalability issues associated with traditional Bitcoin transactions. All Strike customers receive a Lightning Address in the format of username@strike.me, simplifying the process of receiving payments compared to more complex Lightning invoices.

The app’s global peer-to-peer transfer capability allows UK users to send funds from their GBP balance to friends’ Strike accounts instantly, anywhere Strike is available. Recipients can receive the value as Bitcoin, GBP, euros, US dollars, or USDT, depending on their location and preferences.

Strike’s “Send Globally” feature is particularly noteworthy, enabling UK users to make fast, low-cost local currency remittances to countries including Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, the Philippines, Mexico, and Vietnam.

This service uses Bitcoin’s Lightning Network as a global payment rail under the hood, potentially disrupting traditional remittance channels.

UK Regulation

To comply with UK regulations, Strike has implemented additional steps in its signup process. New users must provide their investor classification and pass a knowledge test called an “Appropriateness Assessment.”

This quiz aims to ensure that users understand the risks involved in investing in Bitcoin, recognize that Strike is a custodial provider managing assets on behalf of users, and acknowledge that no investor protection is available.

Users are classified as either “Restricted investors” (allocating less than 10% of net assets to high-risk investments) or “High net worth investors” (earning over £100,000 in the past 12 months or having net assets exceeding £250,000). Those who don’t meet these criteria are currently ineligible to use Strike in the UK.

The app also includes an education hub called Strike Learn to help users understand more about the service, Bitcoin, and potential risks. UK customers are shown risk warnings to comply with local rules, with financial promotions in the country approved by the FCA-regulated firm Englebert Ltd.

Strike’s expansion into the UK comes at a time of evolving cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

The UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2023 has provided the groundwork for regulators to oversee stablecoins and other crypto activities, placing them within the same regulatory framework as traditional financial services. New advertising rules for crypto firms were also introduced in October 2023.

Jack Mallers expressed the company’s commitment to growing Bitcoin adoption globally despite regulatory complexities. “Our work is far from done,” he stated, emphasizing Strike’s dedication to making Bitcoin accessible for regular users and businesses worldwide.



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