Zap’s Lightning Network-powered Strike app will now be available on desktops. The new feature creates a public domain for each username. That domain then allows other users to tip – in both Bitcoin and dollars. Although a simple expansion, the new ‘strike.me’ domains offer an important new corridor for cryptocurrency payments. Another real-world use case, Strike’s simplicity may help it gain traction. Users do not have to understand the complexities of cryptocurrency, which often comes with a sharp learning curve.
For businesses that cannot use credit cards, Strike could represent an entirely new income flow. The new system is in use at two cannabis dispensaries – one of which has switched over exclusively. Paper money is a known transmission vector for COVID-19. Through using the contactless Strike app and curbside drop-offs, Helping Hands Herbals of Boulder, CO no longer requires any contact with customers. This drastically decreases the risk of infection.
Cannabis is a Cash-Only Business
Marijuana continues to gain traction at the state level. Eleven states have fully legalized recreational marijuana, while many more have legalized medical uses. Only three states and some territories have not at least decriminalized cannabis. Yet, it remains illegal at the federal level. In addition to causing headaches for dispensaries and customers, this prevents the use of credit cards for marijuana purchases.
As such, the industry is ripe for innovation. Cryptocurrency and marijuana have a long history together – and both still exist in an often legally grey area. The Strike app can alleviate this problem. The app functions like many other fintech payment options – an important familiarity for most users.
Paper Money Scarcity
Beyond the inability to use credit cards, cash may be increasingly difficult to access. As the coronavirus pandemic rages across the United States, many banks are struggling to keep up with demand. Nervous account holders are draining their accounts, straining a system that isn’t designed to keep a full reserve.
In fact, recent actions by the Federal Reserve removed all reserve requirements. These requirements once forced banks to hold a certain ratio of their holdings in liquid assets. Without them, banks may not have any cash on hand to pay-out to their customers. Beyond that, U.S. cultural norms are shifting away from cash – further stressing cash-only businesses.
Article By: Adam Stone