Spend Bitcoin on Amazon, Thanks to Moon and the Lightning Network

By CCN.com: You can now spend your bitcoin on giant Amazon, thanks to an ingenious lightning network solution, Moon.

Moon is a crypto payment-processing start-up that works by allowing lightning network-enabled wallets to be used through Moon’s browser extension.

The extension allows shoppers to connect their cryptocurrency wallet to it, for example, a Coinbase wallet, and use it at checkout, to pay for goods with bitcoin, or one of three other currencies, litecoin, ethereum or bitcoin cash.

Let’s be clear it’s not a native Amazon payment option … yet.

To the Moon! The Moon team: Left to right: Kemel McKenzie – Lead Developer, Ken Kruger – Founder and CEO, Khurram Kalim – Head of Marketing. Source: Moon

Simplicity

In an interview with CCN.com CEO Ken Kruger explained how Moon worked:

Simply: After installing the Moon browser extension you shop on Amazon.com as you normally would. At checkout, Moon gives you the option to pay with your crypto. When you submit payment, your purchase is completed instantly and seamlessly on Amazon … We’ll be expanding to other wallet integrations and currencies.

The transactions are handled by exchanges and financial institutions who convert the bitcoin into fiat and then pay Amazon sellers in traditional fiat currencies. The transactions don’t cost the buyer anything.

Lightning Network and … Visa?

Moon is integrating with Visa and Mastercard and makes its money by getting a small cut of the interchange fees every time sellers receive a credit card transaction.

Amazon now accepting bitcoin – the checkout process in action. Source: Moon

Asked how he felt about working with the very companies crypto is trying to displace Kruger said:

In order to facilitate transactions and eventually adoption, we need to integrate with merchants. These merchants are currently on these payment networks. In the future, we hope merchants are familiar enough with crypto as a payment method that they’ll integrate directly, but this is the first step towards adoption … It’s clear that they see the value of cryptocurrency and how it can disrupt the traditional payment space.

Moon has already been tested by a small group of beta users, who used it to spend bitcoin on Amazon and other e-commerce sites, and the browser extension is available on the Chrome store right now, making it available to 60% of internet users globally.

It is also available on Brave and Opera browsers.

So far, the extension supports shopping on Amazon.com only with United States dollars, but the team is looking to expand wider.

Amazon is just the beginning

While Amazon gives Moon, the lightning network and crypto exposure to a massive user base, there’s already steps in place to take Moon even further, with ebay, Etsy, Target, Domino’s and AliExpress all in the company’s sights.

Amazon now accepting bitcoin – but coming soon to an ecommerce platform near you. Source: Moon

Kruger said:

We’re looking to expand to Amazon shoppers worldwide [and] We’re working on adding a number of top-50 US eCommerce brands in the coming months.

He added:

Crypto adoption for payments is coming sooner than many think. eCommerce crypto payments have been increasing exponentially over the past few years. Moon is the platform that’s going accelerate this growth even more and bring crypto payments to the average consumer.

Made in New York

Moon is a New York-based start-up that was founded last year with a $100k investment from Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator.

Murat Aktihanoglu, the accelerator’s managing director said the investment was made after looking at the long-term prospects of the company and based on a future where the lightning network payments were used by all major e-commerce companies.

“We invested in Moon as a long-term portfolio company,” Aktihanoglu told Coindesk, a sentiment echoed by Kruger who has big plans for the project:

Our mission is to let people shop anywhere online with cryptocurrency instantly, securely and without fees. We’ll be expanding to support payments on all eCommerce websites, and we’ll also be adding additional currencies to the platform.

Full text of the interview with Ken Kruger, CEO and founder of Moon:

What crypto wallets can you use the Moon extension with? Just Coinbase, or others? Plans to expand?

A: For Lightning Network, users can use any Lightning Network enabled wallet to pay with Bitcoin., otherwise we also support Coinbase, so you can pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash from your Coinbase account. We’ll be expanding to other wallet integrations and currencies.

Supported cryptocurrencies? Plans to expand this?

A: Moon supports Bitcoin through Lightning Network and Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether and Bitcoin Cash through Coinbase. We will be adding support for more currencies soon.

Who handles back-end processing?

A: We work with a number of exchanges and traditional financial institutions to facilitate transactions.

Doesn’t integrating with Visa and Mastercard go against the philosophy of crypto? Thoughts?

A: In order to facilitate transactions and eventually adoption, we need to integrate with merchants. These merchants are currently on these payment networks. In the future, we hope merchants are familiar enough with crypto as a payment method that they’ll integrate directly, but this is the first step towards adoption.

How receptive were Visa and Mastercard to working with you? How long did it take you to win them round?

A: All our partners are excited to work with us. It’s clear that they see the value of cryptocurrency and how it can disrupt the traditional payment space.

How does Moon work? Can you explain it in simplistic terms?

A: Simply: After installing the Moon browser extension you shop on Amazon.com as you normally would. At checkout, Moon gives you the option to pay with your crypto. When you submit payment, your purchase is completed instantly and seamlessly on Amazon.

How did you win over Amazon and get them to adopt the Moon extension/platform?

A: We don’t integrate directly with Amazon. That’s the beauty of our technology–we don’t require merchant integration.

What are your thoughts on what Amazon thinks of crypto (generally) and integrating it natively in their platform?

A: I don’t think Amazon will be adding cryptocurrency as a payment method anytime soon, and if they do, it would probably be their own in-house currency. That’s why we think what we’re doing is so critical: we can help people spend the most-popular cryptocurrencies that are open and available.

Do they have a team working on crypto adoption?

A: You’d have to ask them.

Does the extension roll out to the Chrome store tomorrow?

A: The extension is live with lightning network support right now!

Once it’s rolled out can Amazon users globally use it, or only US users? If the latter, what are your plans to expand?

A: Right now, we support shopping on Amazon.com with USD, but we’re looking to expand to Amazon shoppers worldwide.

What other big e-commerce platforms are interested in using Moon?

A: We’re working on adding a number of top-50 US eCommerce brands in the coming months.

What was the idea that kicked Moon into life?

A: I’m a big believer in crypto as a currency. I saw an opportunity to help make that future a reality by enabling crypto eCommerce payments at scale.

How long have you been in the crypto space?

A: I’ve been following crypto since nearly the beginning. I always found it incredibly fascinating. I followed it as a hobby, but only decided to join the cryptocurrency space professionally in the last year and a half.

What’s next for Moon? Where do you see the company in five years time?

A: Our mission is to let people shop anywhere online with cryptocurrency instantly, securely and without fees. We’ll be expanding to support payments on all eCommerce websites, and we’ll also be adding additional currencies to the platform.

Who are your backers, who invested in your start-up?

A: We have an investment from the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator and are in the process of closing a round of funding. We have some great investors on board. We’ll make an announcement when the round is completed.

Finally, how ready do you feel consumers are for crypto? How close is crypto to becoming a mainstream payment method?

A: Crypto adoption for payments is coming sooner than many think. eCommerce crypto payments have been increasing exponentially over the past few years. Moon is the platform that’s going accelerate this growth even more and bring crypto payments to the average consumer.

Last modified (UTC): April 29, 2019 5:48 AM

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Chris Chiddle

Former national journalist and editor at some of the UK's top daily newspapers and broadcasters. Now, working in the crypto and blockchain space. Passionate believer in the potential of distributed ledger technology to disrupt the status quo, and reshape the world we live in.

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