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Cannabis shops are using bitcoin payment services to conduct business in place of fiat amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by CoinDesk, cannabis dispensaries in Boulder, Colorado have been onboarded to the closed beta for Strike, a bitcoin payment service application founded by lighting network supporter Zap.
Zap, founded by Jack Mallers, has been operating a closed beta for the payment application Strike which allows users the option of sending bitcoin or dollars and receiving funds in their bank account. The application uses a simple QR code interface, similar to Venmo, that allows users to send funds without having prior knowledge or expertise with bitcoin.
Mallers said, “Every Strike user is given a public domain at strike.me. We’re using Lightning for really fast online settlement of value transfers. … It’s also beneficial for privacy on the sender’s side.”
Johnny Kurish, General Manager at Boulder’s Helping Hands Herbals cannabis shop, said the application allowed his dispensary to process $1,000 worth of purchases since being added to the beta last week.
Kurish said the dispensary will switch to only accepting Strike payments, which allow for contactless exchanges in light of the coronavirus pandemic. He was quoted saying, “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. We’re happy to reopen with an option that’s safe for our staff.”