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Crypto start-up enables Lightning Network payments to e-commerce platforms

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Bitcoin owners will be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings to purchase goods on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, thanks to a new lightning network solution from crypto payment processor Moon.

As reported by industry website Coindesk, Moon announced yesterday that any lightning network-enabled wallet could now be used through Moon’s browser extension. The extension is currently being reviewed by the Chrome Web Store.

“[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,” Moon’s chief executive officer, Ken Kruger, said, as quoted by Coindesk.

This doesn’t mean that online retailer would directly support LN payments, however. Instead, Moon converts the crypto payments into fiat, which is then sent to online merchants. However, he believes that by next year the lightning feature should work on most e-commerce websites, even if they don’t accept BTC directly.

“There’s no direct merchant integration,” Kruger said, elaborating that the company manages payment channels and simply offers a convenient interface for sending payments.

“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,” he also told Coindesk.

The Lightning Network is a ‘Layer 2’ payment solution for the Bitcoin protocol that allows bi-directional payment channels to be opened between two parties. These channels can process multiple transactions between the two parties, without the need for those transactions to be recorded on the blockchain. Some Bitcoin crypto rivals, such as Litecoin (LTC) and Stellar Lumens (XLM), have also adopted the technology, while others are developing their own Layer 2 scaling solutions. Ethereum (ETH), for example, is working on a project called Raiden.

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