As we reported back in April this year, a small tech startup developed a browser extension called Moon that utilizes the Lightning Network (LN) to enable online crypto payments. By automatically converting a user’s funds into fiat cash and completing the payment with an online retailer, the user essentially experiences paying with crypto.
At the time the New York-based startup was in its infancy and the Moon extension was still going through testing, so no actual retailers had adopted it yet. Now, as reported by popular technology publication TechCrunch, the team behind the Moon browser extension has managed to release a working version that enables crypto payments on Amazon, the world’s most popular e-commerce retailer.
Amazon itself still doesn’t accept payments in any form of cryptocurrency due to the slow transaction speeds and high costs that deter customers from adopting the payment method. However, by using the off-chain Lightning Network solution, Moon can complete crypto payments as quickly and easily as normal payments.
The power of lightning
Lightning Network achieves this by opening up a permanent secure channel through which multiple transactions can be completed as one, thereby reducing the times required to validate a new block for each small payment. The concept has attracted some criticism, with many saying it will tie up cryptocurrency funds off-chain and effect the way markets operate. However, despite numerous issues, the Lightning Network team is still forging ahead strong, proving the worth of the project.
In addition to using a Bitcoin wallet that is connected to the Lightning Network, users can also connect the Moon extension to their Coinbase Wallet via the Coinbase API. This way you can complete Amazon payments instantaneously in any of the supported Coinbase currencies, including Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The best part, using the Moon browser extension doesn’t incur any additional fees.
The company hopes the popularity of the Amazon service will allow them to add more e-commerce sites and online retailers. Currently, the extension is only available to US and Canadian customers but the Moon team has plans for expansion to Europe and beyond.