Amazon has plans to accept the cryptocurrency bitcoin by the end of 2021, according to a report published anonymously in the London newspaper City AM And while this is just the word of an anonymous on the Seattle-based mega-retailer, the price of bitcoin skyrocketed overnight and is creating a lot of buzz in the world of cryptocurrencies, a world built on little more than rumors.
“This is not just following motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future; this is an integral, well-discussed part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work, ”the anonymous source told the site in an article published early Monday morning.
The insider claims that bitcoin will be the first of roughly eight cryptocurrencies that Amazon will start accepting, eventually including currencies like ethereum, cardano, and "bitcoin cash" in the mix. The source told City AM that Amazon's crypto plans have been in motion since 2019 and that “it won't be long” for the company to accept cryptocurrencies.
Amazon even has plans to develop its own cryptocurrency, according to the source. And the company could make it possible to earn rewards for paying with what the insider calls Amazon's "native currency." Amazon did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Gizmodo about its crypto plans on Monday.
The new City AM report comes after internet users spotted some interesting job openings at Amazon over the weekend, including one for a "Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Leader."
From Amazon's job posting :
The Payments Acceptance & Experience team is seeking an experienced product leader to develop Amazon's digital currency and blockchain product strategy and roadmap. You will leverage your domain expertise in Blockchain, Central Bank Digital Currencies, and Cryptocurrencies to build the case for capabilities to be developed, drive product overview and strategy, and gain leadership buy-in and investment for new capabilities. He will work closely with teams at Amazon, including AWS, to develop the roadmap, including customer experience, technical strategy, and capabilities, as well as the launch strategy.
Crypto news website Coin Telegraph spotted another blockchain-focused job posting from Amazon last February, although it appeared to be specific to Mexico.
It is perhaps not surprising that Amazon is looking for ways to accept bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies, but it is a red flag that Amazon would like to develop its own cryptocurrency. Depending on how you look at it, such a plan would either plunge us into the past, where companies paid workers in " vouchers " that could only be used at the company store, or it would throw us into the future of science fiction, where a single corporation controls everything we buy.
Facebook's plan to develop its own digital money encountered many obstacles after regulators and politicians around the world warned that “Zuck Bucks” would give the company too much power. Facebook's digital money project was announced in 2019 as Libra and later renamed Diem after much bad publicity. Diem has yet to be released.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos resigned as Amazon's chief executive officer earlier this month, but remains the company's chief executive. And if you believe what City AM says, the entire encryption plan comes from Bezos.
"It starts with Bitcoin: this is the first key stage of this crypto project, and the direction comes from the top ... Jeff Bezos himself," the Amazon source is quoted.
It's hard to imagine what the world would be like if America's largest online retailer created its own digital money out of thin air. Can you imagine buying food, receiving your paycheck, and even paying your taxes with AmazonCoin? It sounds ridiculous from a 2021 point of view. But it might be less ridiculous if you remember that billionaires like Bezos can do just about anything they want in the 21st century.