As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the globe, businesses continue to explore ways to provide their services without putting employees or customers at risk. Interestingly, one such option emerged this weekend after Zap founder Jack Mallers announced his firm entered BETA testing of the Strike tipping system with two cannabis dispensaries. Now, Colorado residents can access their medication safely during this crisis via the Lightning Network.
Surprisingly, STRIKE developers have been working on the contactless POS system since January. The concept is simple, STRIKE enables senders to pay for services with Bitcoin (BTC) or fiat currency. Regardless of the payment method, merchants can choose to receive the payments in fiat via direct deposit. To accomplish this task, the system live-trades the crypto using the Lightning Network. Amazingly, all this happens the second you make your payment.
Cannabis + Strike = A Perfect Match
The cannabis industry is the perfect market for this type of service. Mainly, because most dispensaries have to operate on a “cash only” system. Even though these businesses operate under strict state licensing restrictions, dispensaries find it difficult to get basic banking services because marijuana is somehow still federally illigal. Sadly, this situation adds a risk layer that most banks are unwilling to take on. Hopefully, STRIKE is the answer to this industry’s banking woes.
Desktop Tipping STRIKE
The contactless POS strategy got a boost after the coronavirus placed much of the globe on quarantine. In many areas, people are only allowed to leave their homes to access essential items. Luckily, dispensaries provide a vital service to the community, and most have remained open during the quarantine. Importantly, both of the dispensaries in this BETA program offer take out services. As such, STRIKE allows the dispensaries to offer touchless service to clients.
Speaking on the new platform, Johnny Kurish, general manager at Boulder’s Helping Hands Herbals spoke on how STRIKE changes the game. He described how the new system is safer and more effecient. He also revealed some statistics. The BETA testing saw around $1000 in volume the first weekend. In fact, the program went off so well that Kurish intends to switch to only accepting contactless Strike payments moving forward.
The benefits provided to dispensaries by the STRIKE tipping desktop app are too much to ignore. For one, employees no longer handle cash directly. This reduces their exposure to possible coronavirus pathogens. Also, it provides more overall security to the entire dispensary and its clients. Additionally, the system is anonymous, so there are significant upsides for senders on top of the corona fears.
STRIKE Beta app
Currently, the STRIKE Desktop Beta offers peer-to-peer transfers using a website portal. At this time, there are only 100 beta users transacting around $20,000 a month. Notably, the system has more than 5,000 people on the waiting list. Despite this demand, Mallers intends to take his time and develop the app at a pace that is workable. As such, you could see this app hit the market in June – July.
There is no doubt that there are many industries that could use this type of POS to gain access to banking services. In the future, the app may expand to accept debit card payments. This would be a major upgrade because senders could earn points for their purchases. For now, Mallers continues to Zap life into the market with his unique and ingenuitive approach towards Lightning Network adoption.