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Bitcoin Startup Moon Brings the Lightning Network to All Visa E-Commerce Merchants

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Colin Harper
·2 min read
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A new Bitcoin-facing startup, Moon, just launched a way for its users to buy everyday goods and services using the Lightning Network at any Visa-enabled e-commerce site based in the U.S.

Shared exclusively with CoinDesk, the startup revealed the new payment option today. The Moon browser extension’s latest feature allows its users to pay for purchases using a Visa prepaid card which they purchase on the extension using Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Once purchased, this card is immediately used as the payment option at checkout.

Upon checking out, the user employs the Moon browser extension to instantly generate a prepaid card for the exact amount of the purchase. The browser extension generates a Lightning invoice, which the user pays from any Lightning wallet. and then they can use the card to pay for the items in their cart.

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These cards can only be used once and have no fees.

Moon also integrates with Coinbase so users of both can pay for the cards directly from their Coinbase accounts onchain. 

The payment solution is the latest Bitcoin startup to combine traditional payment rails with Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, a bleeding-edge technology stack that facilitates instant, low-fee transactions.

“We’ve been working with the Visa Fintech team and their network of partners to build Moon. Since the vast majority of merchants don’t accept Bitcoin payments, sending payments over the Visa network is the best option due to its ubiquity,” Moon Founder and CEO Ken Kruger told CoinDesk. 

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“Visa has provided us with access to the Visa network, world-class expertise and the best financial partners to bring Moon’s Bitcoin payment solution to market.”

Visa Fast Track meets bitcoin

Over the past year, Visa has been generous with this expertise and network access to help bring  Bitcoin and, more specifically, Lightning-focused business to their next phases of product development through its Fintech Fast Track program

Notably, Visa has been involved in Jack Maller’s Strike, a Lightning Network-powered Venmo alternative that can settle cross border-payments. 

The payment company has also helped Fold launch its bitcoin rewards debit card. Others like eToro and BlockFi are following suit by launching their own bitcoin rewards debit and credit cards through the program. 

These products can complement each other and ultimately strengthen Bitcoin’s burgeoning payments technologies. Something like Strike, for instance, could easily be used to pay the Lightning invoice that pays for Moon’s prepaid cards.

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