Zap, Lightning’s startup behind a non-custodial Bitcoin Investor wallet, raised $3.5 million in a funding round in April.
As reported by Forbes on July 15, previously unknown U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission files revealed that Zap raised $3.5 million in the initial April round with investors such as Green Oaks Capital and Morgan Creek Digital, co-founded by bullish Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano.
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What is Zap?
A non-custodial wallet, Zap stands out from the crowd by allowing its users to instantly purchase Bitcoin (BTC) using a US bank account through Lightning Network.
Zap’s CEO, Jack Mallers, is the grandson of Bill Mallers, who helped found the Chicago Board of Exchange, and the son of Bill Mallers Jr. who co-founded the brokerage firm First American Discount Corporation.
Mallers said Zap’s ultimate goal is to make Bitcoin more accessible and “used by everything it has to offer the masses.
“Our current users don’t know we’re using Bitcoin when they’re using dollars. It’s like we’ve melted it into the background. I think tens of millions of people will use this in the next few years, and that just requires a little bit of capital.
As Cointelegraph reported in September of last year, Mallers explained that cryptomoney novices could “swipe their debit card, receive Bitcoin directly through the Lightning Network, and make instant, affordable micropayments in seconds. This solution could reduce both the settlement time and the fees associated with a BTC purchase.
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Zap joined Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program in June, which allows the app to launch a co-branded Visa card. According to Forbes, the company has several projects involving Visa, but only Zap’s credit card has been announced so far.
“We are contractually obligated to launch one in the next 12 months and plan to launch one in the next few months,” he said.
Strike, strike, strike
Cointelegraph reported on July 6 that Maller’s Strike application was in public beta. Although both applications are designed to send and receive Bitcoin payments directly to a bank account through Lightning, Strike does not require a wallet, seed money, channels or liquidity to operate. Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols have also been kept to a minimum.
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There is competition
Zap is far from being the only company looking to tap the untapped potential of Lightning Network. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square announced in January that he had initiated a Lightning Development Kit that could also result in Bitcoin payments at lower rates.