Eco Inc., the crypto payments company behind the self-custody wallet Beam, announced its acquisition of Join, a shopping app that allows users to purchase stablecoins at major merchants like Amazon and Shopify.
1/ BIG NEWS: we’ve acquired @join to enable shopping online with stablecoins.
It’s time to bring checkout onchain. No more waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.
Want to be the first to spend stablecoins on Amazon? Read on
— Beam (@beam_eco) January 25, 2024
According to the announcement, this acquisition will lead to the integration of Beam and Join, allowing users to make Amazon and Shopify purchases directly from the Beam wallet. Eco plans to roll out the new integrated feature in February and set a waitlist for interested users. The Beam wallet, which operates on the Optimism and Base networks, supports Twitter login for user registration, eliminating the need to manage seed words. It uses stablecoins for both payments and gas fees.
Beam Wallet said in its announcement,
“Every day more people come onchain in search of a better financial system. We’re ready to meet them and give them the best experience, without compromising on decentralization. Shopping and P2P payments are just the start!”
Join’s CEO and co-founder, Tom Dean, emphasized that the integration aims to bring Web3 stablecoin payments into the mainstream, providing a seamless and consumer-friendly crypto payment experience.
“We built Join to enable frictionless spending of stablecoins, and integrating directly into Beam propels this vision even further, and if users hold various stablecoins across multiple networks, the app will abstract this. As the crypto ecosystem continues to grow and we’re looking at the start of the next cycle, this signals that seamless, consumer-friendly crypto payment experiences are finally ready for the global stage.”
Users can now spend their Beam wallet balance directly on in-app purchases through a joint interface. After entering their shipping details, shoppers paste in a product link, fill out any product specifications, and hit order.
Eco’s acquisition of Join and its integration with the Beam wallet are driven by the vision of making ledger technology more accessible and user-friendly. Unlike custodial products like Venmo or Coinbase, the goal is to create a noncustodial wallet that embodies the decentralized promise of crypto.
Eco Acquires Join, Expanding Noncustodial Wallet Capabilities for Mainstream Users
Eco, an a16z-backed startup that’s raised $95 million in funding, launched Beam last year. The wallet allows peer-to-peer global payments and has amassed approximately 80,000 users. Eco declined to disclose what it paid for Join.
Join, initially backed by investor Balaji Srinivasan and a grant from Base, was founded by Tom Dean, Awad Ayoub, and Brad Crook. Eco, the acquirer, has support from venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures, Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Pantera Capital.
The recent technological advances in the Ethereum ecosystem enable mainstream users to access the benefits of noncustodial wallets. Beam is designed to be a user-friendly manifestation of crypto’s decentralized promise, providing a platform for frictionless spending of stablecoins. The integration with Join allows users to make Amazon and Shopify purchases directly from the Beam wallet. This approach aims to make on-chain payments possible for mainstream users.
Eco envisions Beam as a tool that abstracts the complexities of holding various stablecoins across multiple networks, providing an intelligent routing system. The goal is to create a seamless and consumer-friendly crypto payment experience, bringing Web3 stablecoin payments into the mainstream.
Beam’s co-founder, Bromberg, sees the technological advancements in the Ethereum ecosystem over the past year as enabling mainstream users to access the benefits of noncustodial wallets. He emphasizes that payments on-chain are now possible, and the technology is ready for broader adoption.
Tom Dean also shared his inspiration for starting Join, citing experiences of being unable to receive payment due to a lack of a consistent address while growing up. This led him to explore payment systems outside of traditional finance, and the app’s drop-ship model is currently compatible with Amazon and Shopify, with potential expansion plans in the future. Dean emphasized the importance of understanding checkout flows for integration with different services.
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