Prashanth B: The Very First Ever Bitcoin Layer 2 (Lightning Network) Powered Non-custodial Mastercard Debit Card Across the EU & UK Between 2021 and 2022

1 min read

Lastbit launched the very first ever Bitcoin layer 2 (Lightning Network) powered non-custodial MasterCard debit card across the EU & UK between 2021 and 2022. The entire product was a mobile application built on a modern banking & issuing platform which now goes by the name of “Striga”.

Tell us about yourself?

Being long time bitcoin-ers and payments consultants ourselves, we evidently understand deeply the level of innovation and promise that crypto & DeFi bring today. Thus, we built the Striga platform experience around exactly these tenets, enabling the innovator to focus on their core business, i.e. building and shipping innovative technological crypto services without having to worry about any of the heavy lifting in connecting to legacy fiat infrastructure and compliance.

I, Prashanth, personally here’s a story –

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Apply to YCombinator sooner, focus on building things that people want and spend every waking minute talking to customers or looking for product market fit.

What problem does your business solve?

The biggest problems in payments today stems from legacy issuing platforms that charge obscene fees for crypto companies and require hundreds of pages of compliance documentation in addition to a dedicated compliance team, which most companies do not have the resources or expertise to handle, just to issue payment cards (Visa/MasterCard) tied to crypto.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Having worked with Bitcoin since my early teens, one of the biggest and glaring problems that Bitcoin couldn’t really be used in the real world for any meaningful purpose.

The two sided merchant/consumer dilemma always plagued the industry. I’d used Bitcoin to move money across borders as a payments scheme and eventually started Lastbit that builds on this technology to connect to fiat payment rails.

What is your magic sauce?

The barrier to entry in this space is a mix of technology and compliance, i.e. a deep understanding of the laws and regulations to connect global payment schemes (such as Visa/MasterCard) to crypto networks.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Powering 1% of the payment flows across the US/EU and Mexico alone gets us to a 100M ARR. We strive to be a public company one day.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

The ever changing regulations around crypto companies. Staying on the right side of the law is massively demanding and requires expertise both from a technological perspective and a legal perspective.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We work with the founders of wallet companies, exchanges and other crypto projects that have a public consumer facing component, to drive retention and revenue through the usage of traditional payment devices such as debit cards.

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