Amazon Eyes Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, Hunts Talent
Amazon.com has managed to stay on the sidelines of the cryptocurrency craze so far. The e-commerce giant may have been watching and waiting as the industry has matured rather than taking a trial and error approach with a nascent asset class.
Now it appears that the cryptocurrency industry, with a combined market cap of USD 1.3 trillion, may have come far enough along that Amazon can no longer ignore it. Amazon has placed a job ad for a digital currency and blockchain product lead. The company is looking to build out its “digital currency and blockchain strategy and product roadmap,” according to the ad.
The new hire will be part of “The Amazon Payment Acceptance & Experience Team.” This suggests that the company is just as interested in building out infrastructure for payments as it is for the blockchain. If Amazon decides to accept cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for payments, it would be a 180-degree turn from its current policy.
An Amazon spokesperson told FX Empire,
“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.”
On social media, the response was mostly that of users speculating that if Amazon decides to support bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for payments, it would be bullish for the market. There are millions of sellers on Amazon’s marketplace, and adding crypto payments could bring the industry another step closer to widescale adoption. Separately, PayPal already supports bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies for online payments.
The AWS Effect
The new strategy could have something to do with a fresh leadership style. In early July, Amazon experienced a change at the helm when Jeff Bezos stepped aside and Andy Jassy was named CEO. Jassy helped to make Amazon Web Services (AWS) into what it is today. It is on AWS that Amazon Managed Blockchain, which uses Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum, already resides.
Amazon has a market cap of USD 1.8 trillion and its stock is trading within a stone’s throw of its all-time high.