Retail technology

Fibo Quantum

It is now possible to buy stuff on Amazon with Bitcoin et al, thanks to US startup Moon. Earlier this year, it announced that any Lightning Network-enabled wallet could now be used through its Chrome browser extension. Prior to this, a small group of beta users tapped Moon to spend crypto on e-commerce sites by connecting the browser extension to exchange accounts like Coinbase.

“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 favourite Lightning wallet,” Moon CEO Ken Kruger commented.

As an added bonus, it was possible to get 5% off during Prime Day earlier this month when using Moon at Amazon.com. In a Medium post, Kruger discusses four things learned from the initiative. Since launching, people have been pretty much evenly split on their choice of payment method: Coinbase is used 49.9% of the time and Lightning Network for 50.1% of all transactions. But during the two days of ‘Crypto Prime Day’, there was a drastically different split. About two out of every three transactions were made via Coinbase, up roughly 16.5 percentage points versus the all-time average.

One reason could be limits. “The Lightning Network protocol has a hardcoded limit of 0.042 BTC per transaction, which was about $428.59 on the first day of Prime Day,” Kruger writes. “With Moon, users who opt to pay via Coinbase can spend up to $1,000 per transaction. And Coinbase users did spend more than Lightning Network users during Crypto Prime Day: the average Coinbase cart size was $145.39, while the average Lightning Network purchase was just over $60. This lead to Coinbase payments accounting for about 83% of the total transaction volume over the two days.”

Another reason could be recent changes made to how Moon integrates with Coinbase. “We eliminated onboarding hurdles, added support for 2FA and otherwise made paying via Coinbase a more seamless experience. Since the change went live, we’ve seen a steady increase in Coinbase transactions, up from an even all-time split to just about three out of every five transactions. Making the change ahead of Crypto Prime Day might have tipped the scales in Coinbase’s favour.”

Bitcoin rules

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Bitcoin was by a wide margin the most popular cryptocurrency during Prime Day. It made up 86.1% of transaction volume (it usually accounts for 81.3%). Although Litecoin has historically been Moon’s second most popular currency, accounting for a tick above 11% of all currency spent, it dipped to a tie for third with Bitcoin Cash during Prime Day. Ether jumped to second place with just about 7% of all transaction volume.

Prime Day was a two-day event this year, spanning 15th and 16th July. And while Moon set personal bests for number of transactions and transaction volume on both days, transaction volume dropped 36% from day one to day two. “What is intriguing is that the total transactions on both days were about the same, but the average cart value dropped considerably,” Kruger notes.

“There are a number of potential reasons for this: perhaps there were better deals on day one, or maybe the best deals were all gone. We know, for example, that some products with more notable deals ran out of stock on day one, like the PS4 Slim and Pro bundles, which were discounted a steep $100-$200.”

Or perhaps the price of Bitcoin played a role. While it stayed above $10k and almost hit $11k on day one, its price fell under $9,500 on day two. “The psychological impact of Bitcoin dropping below $10k may have made some buyers skittish: the average cart size on day two was about 37% less than day one,” Kruger concludes.

Sign up for our free retail technology newsletter here.