Amazon has denied a report claiming that it plans to start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method before the end of the year.
A company spokesperson said, Despite our interest in this area, the speculation that has arisen around our specific plans for cryptocurrency is not correct. We're still focused on exploring what this might look like for customers who shop on Amazon.
The denial came after London-based financial newspaper City AM reported a specific series of plans obtained from a company insider. According to the report, the e-commerce giant is ready to accept Bitcoin as a payment method this year, followed by other popular cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, and even the company's native token.
The instructions for the cryptocurrency initiative were said to come from Jeff Bezos himself. This is despite the fact that Bezos recently resigned as CEO of Amazon. Although Amazon's statement does not specifically mention this report. But it does align with speculation about specific plans that Amazon says are untrue.
The flurry of speculation was prompted by the company's inclusion last week as a leader in a digital currency and blockchain product. The list stated that Amazon is looking for someone to explore how the company can make use of cryptocurrency technology as part of its business.
Amazon does not accept Bitcoin as a method of payment. We are inspired by the innovation that is happening in the cryptocurrency space, a company spokesperson said at the time. And we explore what this might look like across Amazon. So the company has a general interest in the field. But she has no specific plans.
The reports caused sharp fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin over the past week. Reuters notes that the price of the currency rose by as much as 14.5 percent after the City AM report. But the price fell from a high of more than $40,000 to less than $37,000. Last week, before the reports, the cryptocurrency was trading in the range of $29,000 and $32,000.
Although, Amazon's acceptance of Bitcoin is a significant event. But it wouldn't be the first major company to do so. Earlier this year, Tesla began accepting Bitcoin as a way to pay for its cars in the US. But it was discontinued less than two months later due to environmental concerns related to cryptocurrency. Amazon, which announced a $2 billion climate fund last year, is likely to share those concerns.