Four Things We Learned from Crypto Prime Day 2019

Ken Kruger
Jul 26, 2019 · 5 min read
Crypto Prime Day 2019 Recap
Crypto Prime Day 2019 Recap

Last week, Moon held the first ever Crypto Prime Day alongside Amazon’s Prime Day, where shoppers saved an additional 5% off their Amazon.com purchases if they paid with crypto through Moon. Our goal with Crypto Prime Day was simple: reward the hodlers with a great deal and incentivize adoption of cryptocurrency as an actual currency.

Amazon’s midsummer e-commerce bonanza has quickly become the biggest shopping event during what’s usually the slow season in retail. This year was record-setting. Amazon sold an estimated 175 million items!

It was record-setting for Moon, too. We set personal bests for single-day and two-day transactions and transaction volume. Along the way, we learned some things that we thought you might find interesting.

Here’s our first-ever Crypto Prime Day recap.

Coinbase or Lightning Network?

Moon launched this past April with the ability to pay with crypto via their Coinbase account or a Lightning Network-enabled wallet. Since launching, our users are just about evenly split on their choice of payment method: Coinbase is used 49.9% of the time, while Lightning Network is used for 50.1% of all transactions.

But during the two days of Prime Day, we saw a drastically different split:

Coinbase or Lightning Network?
Coinbase or Lightning Network?
Two out of every three transactions during Prime Day were made via Coinbase

About two out of every three transactions during Crypto Prime Day were made via Coinbase, up roughly 16.5 percentage points versus our all-time average.

Why? 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. 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.

Average Cart Size During Prime Day by Payment Method
Average Cart Size During Prime Day by Payment Method
The average Coinbase payment was over twice that of the average Lightning Network payment

Another reason could be recent changes we 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 favor.

Bitcoin: The Standard

Bitcoin was the most popular cryptocurrency spent during Prime Day by a wide margin:

Prime Day Transaction Volume by Cryptocurrency
Prime Day Transaction Volume by Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin was by far the most used cryptocurrency for payments on Prime Day

This was a little higher than normal for Bitcoin, which is the most popular payment currency for Moon users. Historically, Bitcoin has made up 81.3% of transaction volume.

Interestingly, although Litecoin has historically been our second-most popular currency, accounting for a tick above 11% of all currency spent, it dipped to a virtual tie for third during Prime Day. Ether jumped to 2nd place with just about 7% of all transaction volume on Prime Day.

When Were Users Shopping?

Prime Day is a unique event relative to expected online shopping trends. While online shoppers tend to make purchases in the evening, Prime Day features flash sales with limited supplies, incentivizing you to shop as soon as a deal goes live.

Over the two days of Prime Day, 52% of all purchases took place between 12 pm and 8 pm PDT.

When did users shop on Prime Day using cryptocurrency?
When did users shop on Prime Day using cryptocurrency?
The bulk of transactions on Prime Day occurred between 12pm and 8pm PDT

This was different from what we’ve seen at Moon so far. On average, our busiest 8-hour spread is actually between 5 am and 1 pm PDT (8 am to 4 pm EDT) — looks like a lot of our users are shopping on the job!

You Gotta Know When to Hodl ‘Em

Prime Day was a two-day event this year, spanning July 15th and 16th. And while we did set personal bests for number of transactions and transaction volume on both days, transaction volume dropped 36% from day one to day two.

What’s intriguing is that the total transactions on both days were about the same, but the average cart value dropped considerably.

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 Bitcoin stayed above $10k and almost hit $11k on day one of Prime Day, Bitcoin’s price fell under $9500 on day two of Prime Day.

Bitcoin Price During Prime Day
Bitcoin Price During Prime Day
The price of Bitcoin fell below $10k on day two of Prime Day

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.

Now given all the variables at play, we can’t necessarily establish a correlation between cryptocurrency price and consumer spending habits. But it’s an interesting line of thought we will continue to study.

Of course, we’d love to hear what you think! Have you ever spent crypto on retail goods? If so, how does the value of your crypto influence whether you decide to spend or hold? Let us know with a comment below.

It was an incredibly fun Crypto Prime Day for us at Moon, and we hope it was just the first of many!


Moon is a browser extension that offers an alternative payment method when shopping online. Pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether or Bitcoin Cash directly on Amazon.com.

Ken Kruger

Written by

Founder and CEO of Moon. Former Lockheed Martin engineer. Degrees from Cornell and Columbia. paywithmoon.com

Moon

Moon

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