At the end of 2021, there was much discussion about an Amazon job post for a “lead position” in blockchain and digital currencies. The Amazon digital currency project based in Mexico had some 70 employees when speculation about Amazon crypto started in earnest.
Naturally, data like that got plenty of people talking about the future of crypto and the online retail giant. Amazon went on the record denying the company was getting ready to make some kind of crypto offering; that denial came shortly after the buzz started but has not prevented a lot of speculation about what could happen next.
What kind of speculation? Remember, Amazon has not started accepting Bitcoin or other third-party virtual currency for payments (you can find indirect workarounds with third-parties such as Bitrefill), but it has something called the Amazon Managed Blockchain AND has its own digital currency. It’s also believed that customers will be able to use the Amazon Crypto Token while shopping on the Amazon website, although how long this will take to implement is also unclear.
Amazon Coins Already Exist
Amazon currently offers Amazon Coins, the company’s virtual currency that’s worth a penny per token and sold as non-refundable discounted bundles. Coins purchased will not expire, but those given as gifts will expire after one year.
Amazon Coins can be used in the Amazon App Store. You can purchase games and apps for use on mobile devices like the Amazon Fire tablet plus Android phones and tablets. It has been speculated, thanks to the presence of Amazon Coins, that there may be a greater interest in creating a payment gateway for Amazon Coin and/or other crypto than for creating yet another new Amazon currency.
Beware of fake Amazon Tokens & Presale Advertisements
Rumors have been around for years that there will be an Amazon crypto token and with the hype, come the scams. One scam included ads looking like they were from legitimate news sources informing the reader of an Amazon token presale for a so called Amazon token “$AMZ”. These malicious advertisements rely on people’s trust in the Amazon brand and desire FOMO in on cryptocurrency.
This isn’t the first scam of this type and surely won’t be the last. DYOR and be careful out there.
Another crypto-centric aspect of Amazon is the availability of Amazon Tokenized Stock, which is a crypto-backed version of the traditional Amazon stock. Tokenized stocks are generally representations like this, with cryptocurrency being the collateral. According to some sources, tokenized stocks can be purchased in fractions and are executed trustlessly.
CoinMarketCap describes tokenized stock in general as, “derivatives that represent traditional securities, particularly shares in publicly firms traded on regulated exchanges”. Some of the benefits of trading in tokenized stocks include “fractional ownership” of traditional securities and more liquidity.
Yahoo reports Amazon’s ownership of at least three crypto-related domains, including:
These were purchased as early as 2017, but at press time these sites were completely undeveloped, returning only a “not found” result. That does not mean Amazon has given up on these sites, it’s common to buy a domain and hold it for some time before finally developing it for business.
As of 2022 there is no concrete news about whether the retailer plans to expand the Amazon Coin, accept crypto payments or move into a new virtual currency. Most importantly, the main unanswered question is whether any of the FAAMG companies are willing to commit without more concrete information about potential regulation of cryptocurrencies by federal agencies. Only time will tell, there just isn’t enough information to make a definitive statement.
There are a group of online industry giants that have not yet offered crypto, but are expected to do so at some point. These giants, including Amazon, are sometimes grouped together by pundits and news reports into an acronym called FAAMG, which stands for Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Some crypto speculators watch these entities closely to see what the current attitude toward adopting cryptocurrency might be and how that could affect the current market. Any one of these major companies that decide to take a less risk-averse position on crypto could go a long way toward changing how virtual currencies are used and potentially regulated as a result.
Since America’s regulatory issues around crypto are still in question all the way down to “will they or won’t they” type basics, it’s not surprising that FAAMG planners don’t want to pull the trigger, so to speak, until a more clear picture emerges with respect to federal regulation.
Amazon, one of the two “A” names in FAAMG, has already created its own token, and some believe this might be the start of something much bigger in the FAAMG space.
Another thing that leads some to speculate about Amazon possibly being the first of the FAAMG companies to “go crypto” is the fact that Amazon Web Service (AWS) provides infrastructure support for a managed blockchain and that AWS could support as much as one quarter of all Ethereum workloads.
Amazon seems uniquely positioned to offer a serious cryptocurrency rival. Will that be in the form of the existing Amazon token / Amazon Coins? Or will there be a different opportunity?
Joe Wallace has covered real estate and financial topics, including crypto and NFTs since 1995. His work has appeared on Veteran.com, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and many print and online publications. Joe is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.