In brief

  • Strike has implemented a new wallet feature that converts direct deposits into Bitcoin.
  • The U.S.-based company is partnering with El Salvador to make its Bitcoin Law a reality.

The citizens of El Salvador, still adjusting to the country's new Bitcoin Law that made the asset legal tender, haven't exactly been clamoring to be paid in BTC, let alone pay for things with the asset.

But they're getting that option anyway.

Today, Strike, the wallet partner for El Salvador's massive Bitcoinization project, announced its new "Pay Me in Bitcoin" feature. Users can transfer part or all of a direct deposit into Bitcoin without a transaction fee. "Today anyone with a Strike account, no matter your employer, can get paid in bitcoin," wrote Strike CEO Jack Mallers in an announcement.

Though Mallers refers to rising inflation and home prices in the U.S., the implications of the product carry over to Salvadorans.

El Salvador's Bitcoin Law, proposed by President Nayib Bukele and ratified by a legislature controlled by his party, went into effect last month. The legislation makes BTC legal tender in the country of 6.5 million and mandates that businesses accept the asset unless they are unable to do so for technological reasons; it's the first country to take such a step. 

According to polling taken before the law went into effect, most Salvadorans were against the law, and its adoption has led to multiple rounds of protests.

Even if they're open to the change, many El Salvadors have been confused by the technology; the legislation became law just three months after passing, something Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin noted in a reddit forum: "This tactic of pushing BTC to millions of people in El Salvador at the same time with almost no attempt at prior education is reckless, and risks a large number of innocent people getting hacked or scammed."

Strike attempts to make some of the growing pains manageable. It's a custodial wallet, so users new to the concept of private keys are at less risk of being locked out of their funds due to the most human of errors: forgetting their password.

Mallers writes that the feature is necessary as a means of savings. Mallers implies that accumulating Bitcoin, which has quadrupled in value in the last year, is a better approach than putting funds into a savings account that can't keep pace with inflation.

And Strike isn't the only company thinking along these lines. U.S. exchange Coinbase last month unveiled its "Get Paid in Crypto" feature, which converts direct deposits into Bitcoin, Ethereum or other assets on the exchange.

Unlike Coinbase's feature, however, Strike users only have the one option outside fiat: Bitcoin. Whether Salvadorans like it or not.