In Brief
Amazon has bought a trio of domain names related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology amidst rumors it will soon accept Bitcoin. That said, it's unclear if this is a precursor to the retailer accepting cryptocurrencies, or revealing its own.

The Beginning of Amazon Cryptocurrency?

Last month, a rumor began circulating that suggested Amazon would soon announce plans to begin accepting bitcoin. The retailer still hasn’t made any such announcements, but recent domain purchases may signify the start of their cryptocurrency plans.

Domain Name Wire (DNW) reports that three domains were registered this week that are related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies: amazoncryptocurrencies.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com and amazonethereum.com. Initially, one may think the retailer is preparing to reveal something related to Ethereum and Ether tokens, or that it’s about to launch its own crytocurrency.

CoinDesk notes the new domains are tied to Amazon’s subsidiary company Amazon Technologies, Inc; phone numbers listed on the registration are associated with the company’s legal department. This means Amazon may just want to own the domains in order to cover its brand, or so it’ll have the domains ready in the event it ever decides to incorporate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies into its business. It could also be a move made to further distance Amazon Coins from cryptocurrencies.

Anticipation and Speculation

This isn’t the first time Amazon has purchased a domain related to a cryptocurrency. In 2013, the retailer bought AmazonBitcoin.com, which has nothing to do with Bitcoin. In fact, it redirects to Amazon.com’s homepage — a sign that these new domains may be used for similar purposes.

Interestingly enough, today’s news comes a little over a week after Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin graded Apple, Google, and Amazon on their respective plans for blockchain technology. On Amazon, Lubin simply said, “we’ve not seen that much, so we’ll see.”

Amazon has previously stated it wouldn’t accept cryptocurrencies until their was a demand. As the price of Bitcoin continues to rise — potentially a sign of its own rising popularity and demand — we may soon see Amazon giving its consumers the means to use it.

The much more interesting situation, however, is one in which Amazon introduces its own currency or coin. Not only would such a move potentially force the average person to finally learn what cryptocurrencies are, but Amazon’s currency could become incredibly popular or the preferred form of payment, especially if there are incentives for Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon Prime is currently $99 a year, but what if you could get it for “cheaper” through the use of “Amazon Ether tokens?” The only ones who know what Amazon is up to are the higher ups at Amazon, so we’ll have to wait and see how this situation plays out.

 

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.