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Eco Expands Crypto Payment Accessibility with Acquisition of Stablecoin Shopping App Join

Eco, the entity behind the Ethereum layer-2 wallet Beam, has made a strategic move by acquiring Join, a stablecoin-based shopping app. Armed with $95 million in funding, Eco aims to enhance the adoption of cryptocurrencies and facilitate reliable decentralized payments, extending its services to major mainstream platforms like Amazon and Shopify.

Beam Wallet, developed by Eco, is a self-custody wallet designed for Ethereum layer-2 networks such as Coinbase’s Base and Optimism. It incorporates advanced security features like account abstraction, offering a seamless experience for users. Eco boasts support from prominent crypto backers, including Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed, Pantera Capital, and Venture Partners.

The acquisition of Join is expected to bridge the gap between crypto users and major merchants, allowing customers to spend stablecoins like Tether’s USDT in supported online stores. Additionally, users will have the flexibility to conduct instant cross-border money transfers.

Join’s CEO, Tom Dean, expressed that the acquisition marks the next generation of user-friendly crypto payment experiences on a global scale. Eco’s CEO, Andy Bromberg, emphasized the collaborative efforts of the two teams in advancing the goal of making Beam the premier payment product in the market.

Stablecoins, with a combined market capitalization nearing $140 billion, play a pivotal role in the cryptocurrency industry. These tokens, pegged to fiat currencies, provide users with low-volatility digital assets and serve as gateways for transitioning into and out of the crypto space. The acquisition aligns with Eco’s vision of surpassing traditional finance limits and making crypto payments more accessible for everyday transactions.

This move occurs amid a broader trend of stablecoins proliferating across various blockchains, including Ethereum, Solana, and potential adoption on Bitcoin. A forthcoming Bitcoin-based stablecoin, anticipated later this year, could challenge established players like Tether in terms of transaction speed and cost efficiency, according to a report from CoinShares.

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