Amazon still doesn’t accept cryptocurrencies as payment for online purchases on its store, and with the ongoing crypto rave, the question is why?
It would definitely go a long way in further opening up the platform to the fast-growing crypto market, and it would mean huge turnovers for Amazon. Aside from securing a larger scope of customers, cryptocurrencies attract fewer transaction fees than fiat, and record quicker transaction times. These benefits are too glaring to the crypto world, and it is understandably baffling that Amazon does not seem to be budging.
Interest in Blockchain keeps Rising
What is more interesting is that Amazon is exploring blockchain technology for security and transparent transactions. Amazon Web Services made an official announcement to that effect on April 30, stating that its Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) is generally available. The AMB will reportedly allow users to easily set up blockchain networks within their organizations, at a lower cost. Impressively, the AMB can enlarge to support millions of transactions.
Apart from the AMB, Amazon also announced a blockchain-powered cryptographed database, dubbed Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB). The product provides a transparent, unalterable, crypto-verifiable log of transactions that eliminates instances of fraud or discrepancies in exchanges. The QLDB is overseen by a central trusted authority.
Despite these substantial efforts to venture into the blockchain, Amazon’s relationship with cryptocurrency exchanges or trading is still the stuff of speculations. Crypto-enthusiasts firmly believe that Amazon is in the process of observing the market, and that the volatility of digital currencies is one downside that does not align with Amazon’s reputation. The online retail giant is trusted and used by a lot of people all over the world, and an unstable, untrusted form of payment like Ethereum or the act of facilitating functions to buy cryptocurrency could be far fetched for now.
Other experts are suggesting that Amazon would rather own, produce and control their own cryptocurrency, as this would ensure its stability and reliability. The notion got some form of backing when Amazon purchased three crypto-related domains, AmazonEthereum.com, AmazonCryptocurrency.com, and AmazonCryptocurrencies.com. However, the management remained tight-lipped about their motives so the crypto-enthusiasts had their hopes dashed.
Rakuten is Bullish on Crypto
Amazon still remained silent amid speculations that “Japanese Amazon” Rakuten, may soon integrate cryptocurrency payment options on their platform. In its 2019 Q1 earnings report, the company revealed an upcoming update to its mobile payment app, Rakuten Pay, stating that the app will support more payment options “embedded into one platform.”
However, CEO of top crypto-exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao, is certain that Amazon will have to create its own cryptocurrency in the future.
“For any internet (non-physical) based business, I don’t understand why anyone would not accept crypto for payments. It is easier, faster and cheaper to integration than traditional payment gateways. Less paperwork. And reaches more diverse demographic and geography,” Zhao commented in a tweet.
If Amazon does launch its own coin, it would be a game-changer not only for the crypto-market, but even for industry outsiders at large. It would mean wider adoption of digital currencies, and could even soften the regulations surrounding crypto use and exchange all over the world.
The problem would surely not be adoption by Amazon users, as a recent survey of 1000 Amazon users revealed that 12.7% of the population were open to adopting an Amazon cryptocurrency. If the numbers were evaluated according to the total population of Amazon users, it would be an astounding figure.
However, it seems that private entities are not waiting around until Amazon makes a decision about cryptocurrencies. With browser extensions powered by tech startups such as Moon and CLIC Technology & B2B platform Opporty, users can make enabled purchases with Bitcoin and Ethereum respectively.
“We’re integrating with the Visa and Mastercard networks and we get a cut of the interchange fees that merchants pay every time they receive a credit card transaction”, says Moon CEO Ken Kruger.