Strike, a digital payment platform built on the layer 2 Lightning Network has launched a new feature to process cross-border payments into Africa.
According to the announcement the new feature dubbed “Send Globally” will allow instant low-cost payments into Africa.
The announcement was made by Strike CEO, Jack Mallet during the AfroBitcoin conference in Ghana. To provide its service to the African market, Strike entered a strategic partnership with Bitnob, an African payment platform that allows instant payments into Africa.
With the new feature Strike, users based in the United States can now send money to recipients in African countries. This sum is then converted into fiat currency and deposited into either the recipient’s bank account, Bitnob account, or mobile money. Although the feature is currently limited to Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria, Strike intends to roll out the feature across other African nations.
Strike’s solution significantly reduces the burden on financial institutions to source for USD liquidity at no extra cost. This feature is important in countries with limited options for cross-border payments.
According to Mallers, high processing fees, lack of innovation and slow settlement have been a constant barrier that has negatively impacted the developing world. Strike with its new feature has provided an avenue to make instant cross-border payments and also increase access to inexpensive banking.
Use of cryptocurrency Increase in Africa
Interestingly Africa is one of the fastest crypto markets, to further buttress this fact three countries from the region featured among the top 30 nations in this year’s Crypto Adoption Index. Additionally, a recent study has shown that Nigeria, a country in the West African region, leads the chart for crypto ownership as nearly half of its population uses or owns cryptocurrency.
While acknowledging Africa as a region where the crypto market is thriving and has continued to grow at a fast pace, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for increased consumer protection laws in Africa.
Markedly, only one-quarter of countries in the region have actively regulated cryptocurrencies. Countries like Zimbabwe and Liberia on the other hand, have refused to take a stance on digital assets but are actively working to clamp down on Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).