Is Amazon Dipping Its Toes in the Crypto Pond?
Sep 14, 2021 14:16 UTC
Sep 14, 2021 at 14:16 UTC
Cryptocurrencies were once a small corner of the market, reserved only for the brave, and which many people didn’t quite understand. Now, cryptos have begun to permeate many different corners of the world and are soaring in the markets, albeit retaining their well-known volatile nature. From huge companies and billionaires like Elon Musk and Tesla, to payment platforms like Visa and PayPal, cryptos are rapidly being accepted into the mainstream culture. In fact, crypto has influenced the world so much that digital currencies are a real consideration for countries like the US, who are looking into creating a digital dollar. There’s no telling how soon the digital dollar could come out, but all signs point to big tech getting involved, with rumours circling about Amazon turning towards cryptocurrency. Let’s take a look at why some think Amazon may be entering the crypto market.
Amazon’s possible crypto tango
Currently, Amazon does not accept cryptocurrency as payment, but Amazon Web Services (AWS) does have a blockchain technology infrastructure product on offer. However, a job posting was recently discovered online, which showed that Amazon is looking for a “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead.” The job posting states that Amazon is on the hunt for an “experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s digital currency and blockchain strategy and product roadmap.” Naturally, this has created a lot of speculation around Amazon’s future plans in the crypto space. Soon after that, Amazon shares rose by 1% and Bitcoin prices surged over the $40,000 mark. Amazon explained the job posting by saying, “We’re inspired by the innovation happening in the cryptocurrency space and are exploring what this could look like on Amazon. We believe the future will be built on new technologies that enable modern, fast and inexpensive payments, and hope to bring that future to Amazon customers as soon as possible.”
In 2013, Amazon first showed their interest in digital currencies when they launched Amazon Coins, which was a virtual currency that customers could use to make purchases in apps and games on Kindle. Amazon Coins are worth about 1 cent each and are still being used today. Then in 2017, Amazon purchased three cryptocurrency web addresses with no further explanation. Unsurprisingly, speculation around Amazon’s next move in the crypto space is rife and City A.M., a UK financial publication, reported that Amazon was working on releasing its own crypto coin in 2022, and would be accepting Bitcoin for payments by the end of 2021. However, Amazon has denied this report, with a representative saying, “Notwithstanding our interest in the space, the speculation that has ensued around our specific plans for cryptocurrencies is not true.” The company has maintained that they are in the exploration phase still, saying “We remain focused on exploring what this could look like for customers shopping on Amazon.” Amazon is a giant tech company that is known to explore many avenues, so even though the company is not yet accepting cryptos, the future remains a question mark.
As companies like Tesla move towards the acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the near future, it’s a clear indication of the shift towards crypto amongst big companies. With research being made into a digital dollar and further advancements in the world, it’s unlikely that Amazon is going to be left behind in the crypto and digital currency space, especially considering the company has over 70 openings for blockchain specialists available. However, is Amazon going to accept crypto payments? Will they develop their own coin? Nobody can say for sure yet, but the job posting shows clear signs of Amazon’s interest in crypto, so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled, as this could be a giant leap for the digital realm.