Crypto payments processing startup Moon is launching a web browser extension that allows e-commerce shoppers to use their Lightning Network (LN) bitcoin (BTC) wallets for purchases on sites like Amazon. The news was reported by Moon’s official Twitter on April 22.
While Moon’s regular Chrome browser extension is already available on the Chrome web store, the startup tweeted to note that the lightning feature update is still under review, and is expected to launch imminently.
As previously reported, the bitcoin Lightning Network is a second-layer solution to bitcoin’s scalability limitations, opening payment channels between users that keep the majority of transactions off-chain, turning to the underlying blockchain only to record the net results.
With Moon serving as intermediary, e-commerce sites like Amazon notably will not handle or process the crypto directly. Rather, Moon will process users’ lightning payments and convert them into fiat currencies, before settling the transaction with a given e-commerce merchant, according to Coindesk.
Moon CEO and founder Ken Kruger underscored to the crypto media outlet that “there’s no direct merchant integration” with e-commerce sites such as Amazon, outlining that:
“We’re integrating with the Visa and Mastercard networks and we get a cut of the interchange fees that merchants pay every time they receive a credit card transaction.”
In a discussion of the extension’s functionality, Kruger revealed that at checkout, users will be provided with a QR code that contains the lightning invoice. Having made their payment, they will be redirected back to the regular payments confirmation page of the e-commerce site.
Consumers who want to use their crypto holdings to shop at e-commerce sites like Amazon are also able to use other third party extensions such as Purse.io, or apps like Gyft and eGifter to buy Amazon gift cards with cryptocurrency.
As previously reported, blockchain development firm Lightning Labs announced the initial release of the Lightning Network offramp Lightning Loop this March, providing a non-custodial way to receive funds via the network.
That same month, Bitcoin mining and development firm Bitfury entered into a partnership with United States payments processor startup HadePay to allow its merchants to accept Lightning Network transactions.