Predictions about crypto range from Bitcoin reaching $100,000 per coin to it reaching $0 and many claim to exaggerate its capabilities and uses. While it is true that the technology can truly revolutionize the world, like with other technologies it has its limits. Recently, Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of the crypto exchange giant Binance, tweeted “Amazon will have to issue a currency sooner or later”. The tweet by Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, was posted on Saturday evening. On the surface, it might seem like any other overblown prediction about crypto but a closer look reveals that Amazon could end up doing business in crypto.
The argument for Amazon’s adoption of crypto is that it is an efficient payment method if implemented properly. Considering today’s methods of payments, it offers many advantages. But remember, for new technologies to take over existing technologies, it has to be more than good enough. It also has to offer substantially better advantages than the current one. CZ listed three reasons as to why Amazon should adapt crypto – “faster, easier and cheaper to integrate”. Unlike traditional payment gateways, crypto is cheaper as it doesn’t involve middlemen like banks. Transactions are instant and it’s way easier to set up a crypto payment gateway and involves less paperwork.
Amazon to accept crypto?
Right from the start, people in the crypto community have always dreamt of a day when Amazon would eventually accept cryptocurrencies. This would be the ultimate achievement. Once it happens, literally anything can be bought or sold using crypto. Real speculation began after Overstock Inc, an online retailer, started accepting Bitcoin. They were early adopters of the technology in the online retail space. Overstock partnered with Coinbase to accept Bitcoins as payment. It showed that online retailers can do business using crypto and its feasible. Everyone thought eventually others will follow and some retailers have indeed started accepting crypto, but Amazon is nowhere to be seen. In fact, Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy stated he avoided crypto in the annual report deliberately as the company is not focusing on it as of now.
Officially, Amazon’s stance on crypto is that they are not including support for it anytime soon. The stated reason for this is the lack of demand from customers. Contrary to this stance, Amazon has registered 3 domains which are related to cryptocurrencies. The three domain names that were registered on October 31, 2017, by Amazon are ‘amazoncryptocurrency.com,’ ‘amazonethereum.com,’ and ‘amazoncryptocurrencies.com.’ The information provided on the registration documents, such as the phone numbers, etc., belong to the legal department of Amazon. Immediately, the internet began to speculate about the company’s intentions. Many experts were quick to point out this doesn’t mean Amazon is going to integrate crypto payment. A new domain is not necessary when it comes to integrating new forms of payment. Well, then what could possibly mean? It could mean that the company is planning for something bigger or simply wants to protect its reputations and doesn’t want bad actors exploiting these domains.
Amazon’s aggressive expansion into markets which it has no previous experience in is a good reminder that when the time comes Amazon won’t be hesitant. A cryptocurrency issued by Amazon would be the ultimate achievement of Amazon in the blockchain space. Once a user buys the coin, the money never leaves Amazon. A user buys a product and the manufacturer buys raw materials on Amazon using the coin, and it goes on. Besides the ethics of accepting a currency that is not backed by a government, if there is money to be made, one can expect Amazon to be there.
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