It’s now easier than ever to use bitcoin to support regular businesses beyond the crypto bubble.
Zap founder Jack Mallers, best known for Lightning-friendly bitcoin services, just launched a desktop tipping product to complement the Strike payments app. Just like the mobile app, the tipping feature allows senders to give either bitcoin (BTC) or dollars while users receive dollars in their bank accounts.
Each Strike username is automatically given a public tipping website. Mallers works with trading desks on the backend so users only see a Venmo-like interface. Spenders can scan a QR code, the same way they would for sending fiat with a regular fintech app. Users are not even required to know what bitcoin is.
“Every Strike user is given a public domain at strike.me,” Mallers said. “We’re using Lightning for really fast online settlement of value transfers. … It’s also beneficial for privacy on the sender’s side.”
The Zap team, which has been experimenting with Strike since January, on-boarded two cannabis dispensaries last weekend. Johnny Kurish, general manager at Boulder’s Helping Hands Herbals, said the closed beta program processed roughly $1,000 worth of purchases over the weekend.
Now the dispensary will switch to only accepting contactless Strike payments, Kurish said, an anomaly in a region where most cannabis dispensaries are “cash only” establishments. Employees at Helping Hands no longer touch customers to accept cash or cards.
“We’re really lucky to have curbside drop-offs. We check the ID through the roll-up window, deliver the cannabis to a podium in front of the car,” Kurish said. “We’re happy to reopen with an option that’s safe for our staff.”