Yesterday, Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike, announced his company’s arrival in Argentina. The South American nation would be the second to receive support from the Bitcoin payment processor after a successful launch in El Salvador, with the help of the Nayib Bukele government.
“Today, we use the world’s open monetary network, #Bitcoin, to give hope to the people of Argentina,” said Jack Mallers to his Twitter followers in a thread that explained how the use of cryptocurrencies could help Argentines protect themselves from inflation and the devaluation of their fiat currency. “Argentina needs the best monetary asset and the best monetary network in human history: #Bitcoin,” he tweeted.
But it seems that, for now, Argentines cannot use the “best monetary asset” in their Strike accounts—or, at least, not as they would like to. For the time being, the only option available for sending and receiving money on Strike is via USDT, a stablecoin issued by Tether and pegged to that U.S. dollar that Bitcoiners hope to dethrone one day.
🇦🇷 Welcome, Argentina! 🇦🇷
Today, we launch a superior financial experience to a country that faces hyperinflation, predatory payment networks, and unusable cross-border transfers
— Jack Mallers (@jackmallers) January 11, 2022
Decrypt has confirmed that users in Argentina currently cannot buy, sell, or trade Bitcoin using Strike as they can in other countries. Strike did not immediately respond to our request for comment.
Yet there is a way to receive via Strike in Argentina. Mallers showed that users could link Strike to their Twitter accounts and receive tips through the new feature enabled by the social media platform. However, the service appears to have failed for several users in different instances, such as when verifying their identity or when the username contains non-alphanumeric characters such as hyphens or underscores.
Apart from the Twitter feature, the Strike app in Argentina for now only supports USDT on Ethereum, making small transactions very costly when transacting with a third-party wallet—transactions between two Strike users are free.
USDT convertibility to Argentine pesos is currently unavailable, so the app lags far behind the features offered to its customers in the United States or El Salvador.
Strike currently plays an essential role in the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador. Strike is the most widely used wallet on the oft-discussed Bitcoin Beach, and Strike developers have a leading role in the development of the official Bitcoin wallet of the government of El Salvador: Chivo.
Mallers, however, doesn’t plan to limit Strike to just El Salvador. The company is aiming for a much broader market: “Strike will continue to launch in more countries throughout the year, with a focus on Brazil, Colombia, and other Latin American markets and plans for other regions throughout the world,” the company said in a press release.