New Browser Extension Lets Lightning Network Users Shop on Amazon With Bitcoin

A new browser extension called ‘Moon’ allows Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (LN) users to buy products on Amazon and various other e-commerce websites using BTC, although the websites themselves don’t handle any crypto.

According to CoinDesk, the extension was launched by a crypto payment processing startup with the same name, that had about 250 beta users before adding its LN feature. Users are able to use the extension to spend crypto on e-commerce websites, either by connecting it to exchange accounts, or through the LN.

Speaking to the news outlet the company’s CEO Ken Kruger stated:

[The extension] will pop up a QR code and it will have the lightning invoice, which you could also copy and paste if you can’t use the QR code for some reason, and you’ll be able to pay with your favorite lightning wallet.

While Amazon and the other e-commerce websites won’t be handling any crypto, traditional financial institutions help convert the BTC to fiat, so Amazon’s merchants receive fiat currency for the purchases.

By 2020, Kruger claims Moon will allow users to spend BTC on “almost any e-commerce site.” Per his words, there’s no direct merchant integration, and the startup “also manages payment channels and merely offers a simple interface for sending payments.”

Currently, however, the feature isn’t yet live as the Moon browser extension is still being review by the Chrome Web Store. It’s expected to launch tomorrow (April 24, 2019). Currently, the flagship cryptocurrency’s Lightning Network has several interesting use cases, which include buying from vending machines, ordering food online, and playing games like chess.

Kruger added Moon is integrating with the Visa and Mastercard networks, as it gets a “cut of the interchange fees that merchants pay every time they receive a credit card transaction.” The startup managing the crypto payments has received a $100,000 investment from the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator before adding the LN feature.

Per the CEO his startup is looking to raise a Series A this year, while it keeps on learning from its users’ behavior.