Bitcoin Case Study - Buying an Ebike with Ecash

I recently bought a new ebike from MOD Bikes. Here's a closer look at the integrations that made this purchase special.

Bitcoin Case Study - Buying an Ebike with Ecash
MOD Bike parked in the Bitcoin Commons

I firmly believe in Bitcoin as a medium of exchange for various purchases. I frequently use Bitcoin for my transactions, but the process of buying a new ebike stood out to me due to its unique and enjoyable experience. Here's a closer look at the integrations that made this purchase special.

The Tweet

Tweet that MOD Bikes nows accepts Bitcoin

Jon Gordon (@Satoshi Health Advisors) posted a tweet about an ebike provider he onboarded in Austin that just started accepting Bitcoin. Jon helps businesses understand bitcoin and integrate a bitcoin strategy, including education, payments, treasury, marketing and rewards. He helped MOD Bikes to implement Bitcoin purchases and publish a new web page indicating the benefits of using Bitcoin for them:

  • Reduced transaction fees from 3% to 1%
  • 2% cashback in Bitcoin ("sats back") for customers paying with Bitcoin

Intrigued, I decided to explore this further as I had been looking for an ebike myself. Their bikes looked great, and being a local company made the decision even easier.

Not only were they accepting Bitcoin, but they were offering a 7% discount (2% off + 5% Bitcoin back rewards through Oshi), plus referrals also receive Bitcoin. For a large purchase like a high-quality ebike, these are huge! I can also receive a few hundred dollars rebate from the city of Austin for buying one. I saved around $1k on the $3k bike I purchased. If you want 5% back when paying with Bitcoin, you'll need a referral link, feel free to use mine.

The Bike

MOD Bikes homepage

MOD Bikes offers about 10 different models, but the one that caught my attention was the MOD Easy 3. It is a cruiser/motorcycle-style frame with a top speed of 28 MPH and a 50-mile range. Additional battery packs can be added, and optional sidecars are available to carry other Bitcoin developers like Ben Carman on your way to the Bitcoin Commons or Pleb Lab in Austin.

MOD Easy 3 store page

The Purchase

I watched a few promo/demo videos of the bike and was pumped to order!

Pay with Bitcoin Lightning checkout option

The checkout process was straightforward, but I noticed one issue: MOD Bikes only accepted Bitcoin through the Lightning Network. I didn't keep that much Bitcoin in my Lightning wallet. However, with a recent release from Mutiny Wallet, I could now send on-chain deposits into a Fedimint federation and withdraw over Lightning without needing to open channels or manage liquidity. The power of ecash!

After reaching into cold storage to deposit into the federation in my Mutiny Wallet, I was all set to make the purchase. I wondered how well a 4M sat purchase would go over or if the mint I was using was well-connected enough, so I was excited to find out. It has been a while since I have made a purchase this large over LN.

After setting the pickup address and entering fake info into the order form (a privacy-preserving luxury typically only available when you opt out of fiat payments), I proceeded to the Lightning invoice with Strike Merchant. I had not realized Strike had a merchant option, so seeing it was exciting.

Strike Merchant checkout

I will note that they require the payment to be completed within 1 minute. Usually, I see short 15/60 minute invoices, but 1 minute is rather aggressive. If you know anything about making large payments over Lightning, sometimes payment failures occur and need to be retried a few times. A challenge for MOD Bikes has been user error, as a couple of attempted purchases failed from customers using Muun (which is not a real LN wallet) and CashApp (which has amount limits).

In this case, the federation was well-connected, and the payment was completed within a few seconds! It is becoming clear that federated mints can play an essential role in facilitating more significant Lightning transactions for users privately and consistently.

Final settlement of an ebike purchased with ecash anonymously online and picked up in person, all within seconds. Crazy to see.

The Rewards

Immediately after making the purchase, I received two emails: one from MOD Bike confirming the order and one from Oshi.

Oshi is an excellent rewards platform. They work with merchants to provide their customers with Bitcoin-backed rewards. I've known Michael from Oshi for a few years and have seen multiple iterations of his product. However, this flow was new to me. Besides clicking on an Oshi Rewards link, I had no other clue I was using another "Bitcoin thing" in the process. Everything just worked in the background. I ended up with a friendly email saying I got a pretty sizable reward back in Bitcoin!

Oshi Rewards Page

I clicked the link and typed in my Mutiny Wallet's federated Lightning Address ( as the withdraw location. When I opened my wallet again, I noticed I had received the rewards deposited straight into it.

The Ecosystem

The whole experience was seamless and is a testament to all the interoperable players involved.

  • Satoshi Health Advisors: Assisting merchants with Bitcoin onboarding
  • Strike: Simplifying Bitcoin acceptance for merchants
  • Oshi: Facilitating Bitcoin-backed rewards for customers
  • Fedi (Fedimint): Providing the software that powers Mutiny Wallet
  • Mutiny Wallet: Seamlessly combining on-chain and Lightning payments

And this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Many interoperable stacks can go into solving Bitcoin payments for merchants, but what is unique about this is how seamless the whole experience was. We've reached maturity in this space when you see how many players can help provide interoperable experiences for all types of people and merchants.

My Bike

MOD Bikes warehouse/store

After a few days, I was notified that my bike was ready for pickup! I showed up, provided the fake name I used to order, got a quick rundown of the bike, was offered any adjustments needed, and rode off.

MOD Bike parked in the Bitcoin Commons

Cruising over the Congress Bridge to Bitcoin Commons with the breeze in my hair was an unforgettable way to start the day.

This was the biggest physical item I purchased with Bitcoin, and it felt great. It made it even more satisfying to know all of the Austin locals who made this happen.

Reach out!

If you're interested in purchasing an ebike or bike accessory with Bitcoin, consider MOD Bikes. If you’re a merchant looking to integrate a bitcoin strategy, particularly in Austin, contact Satoshi Health Advisors for support. Strike is your best bet for making accepting Bitcoin easy and accessible. Oshi is the go-to platform for offering Bitcoin-backed rewards to customers.

For users looking for a seamless Lightning payment experience, consider Mutiny Wallet or Fedi. There are no fees to start, and payments just work.

The Bitcoin case study I just shared is more than just a story about buying an ebike; it's a testament to the power of this revolutionary technology and its potential to change how we think about money. From seamless payment processing to rewards platforms, the ecosystem is maturing rapidly. This journey has shown me that by working together, we can build a better financial future for all, one transaction at a time.