Crypto enthusiasts, especially those that own Bitcoin (BTC) and wish to spend it, can now do so at major e-commerce site Amazon using the bitcoin lightning network.
In an announcement published on Monday, crypto payments processing firm Moon noted that anyone with access to a Lightning-enabled wallet is able to use it via the start’s browser extension.
Reportedly, about 250 beta users of the Moon extension were able to pay for shopping done at several e-commerce platforms. According to the firm’s CEO Ken Kruger, even before the lightning feature rolled out, people were able to spend crypto when shopping using its technology.
He said that all a user needed to do was to connect Moon’s browser extension to a cryptocurrency exchange account and proceed to pay with crypto.
Kruger said that for the new LN feature, users get a QR code that has a lightning invoice for the payment. The individual can also simply copy and paste the code for them to pay for goods and services using the crypto holdings in their lightning wallet.
Although users pay with bitcoin, Amazon doesn’t receive or handle the crypto. The crypto gets converted into fiat before being forwarded to Amazon merchants.
According to Kruger, Moon’s lightning-enabled feature will be used at any e-commerce platform by 2020. He also noted that this will be so even if the site does not support or accept direct bitcoin payments.
The Moon tech doesn’t offer any direct merchant integration, with the company only managing the specific payment channels. As such, the startup’s offering merely gives crypto holders a simple interface through which they can send their payments.
The startup will earn through integrating with traditional payment networks provided by giants like Visa and Mastercard. According to Kruger, Moon gets “a cut of the interchange fees that merchants pay every time they receive a credit card transaction.”
Entrepreneur Roundtable Accelerator invested $100,000 in Moon, a New York-based firm that launched its services last year.
Murat Aktihanoglu, the accelerator’s MD, has praised Moon’s rapid rise, noting that it is likely to become one of the top “anchor” crypto businesses. He added that the fund had invested in Moon with a long-term goal.
On its part, Moon is reportedly looking to have a series A funding round this year even as it continues to improve based on user behavior and feedback.
Kruger said the company is working on a funding round this year as they continuously seek feedback from users and understand user behaviour. The target is to help develop solutions to potential usability problems as well as learn and work with other lightning network-focused companies.
At the moment, Moon is banking on its new feature to help drive crypto payments. The extension’s LN functionality is under review, with a nod from the Chrome Web Store expected to see it launch by Wednesday, April 24.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.