- An insider source recently claimed that Amazon is planning to introduce cryptocurrencies as a method of payment on the platform.
- Amazon will likely be able to manipulate the unregulated market to its advantage.
- Bitcoin’s volatility is one reason why Amazon has yet to venture into or accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment.
For-profit companies that have a digital monopoly are rarely interested in the greater good. Driven by board members whose sole purpose is generating additional wealth, technological innovations become simply a tool to facilitate the capital mechanism.
Like Apple and Microsoft, Amazon is positioned to enhance customer spending behavior by promoting a consumerism culture. Yet the top 10 tech companies had not yet interacted with cryptocurrencies directly until 2021.
Corporate Culture and Amazon
Cryptocurrencies formed from subcultures, which are, by definition, opposed to the mass consumption culture. While maximalist ideals are to promote mass adoption, combining the two realities mostly benefits those with financial capacities.
Crypto Banter argues that Amazon’s potential embrace of crypto will only serve to increase their bottom line by cutting out payment intermediaries.
Hypothetically, fully removing payment processors such as Visa or Mastercard and integrating cryptocurrencies would make their mission of being the “most customer-centric company” inaccurate.
One reason is the “amateurism” and complexity of blockchain applications, which impede customers’ ability to have a standard experience.
Additionally, in the current state of the industry, using crypto requires a level of technological understanding. In short, the majority of users are not accustomed to the practices of the industry, which would most likely hurt Amazon in the long run.
Another noteworthy constituent is the market’s volatility. While even the SEC cautions against Bitcoin’s volatility, crypto assets still reside in a grey area. A YouGov survey underlines that only 10% of boomers are familiar with cryptocurrencies.
Furthermore, boomer millionaire investors only hold 10% of their funds in crypto, which is in stark contrast to millennials, who typically invest 25% of their wealth into crypto. This strongly indicates that boomers, who are native to the pre-digital monetary system, are still opposed to accepting crypto.
On The Flipside
- Amazon has the ability and resources to facilitate a viable entry point for cryptocurrency projects to become functional and integrated with real-world applications.
- The company could similarly accelerate the development of the crypto space and make it easily interactable, should they choose to.
- Digital currencies are expected to become the norm for transacting physical and digital goods in the future.
The Bezos Crypto Universe
Amazon, like Tesla, heavily influences the perceptions of digital participants. With that in mind, Amazon’s integration of cryptocurrencies could work against the interests of the industry. As Tesla’s foray into crypto shows, price manipulation is a realistic outcome, as Bitcoin’s price is directly influenced by both positive and negative news.
Considering this, Amazon could easily elevate crypto to their advantage, in a yet unregulated market, before officially disclosing their holdings.
Participation in the crypto market is achieved through more than just investment, and often involves the implementation of one’s own digital currency. As highlighted to City AM by an Amazon insider, the company plans to release its own token, similar to Facebook’s DIEM currency.
What’s more, complete digitization is allegedly part of Amazon’s “future mechanism.”
When considering advancements in blockchain such as social tokens, NFTs, and metaverses, one could argue that Amazon would benefit from creating its own ecosystem. Conversations, interactions, and purchases have ascended into the digital space, and a future in which Amazon curates an NFT metaverse could trigger a new epoch of buying behaviors.
Only Amazon’s native currency would be supported in this new metaverse, which would give Amazon access to user data, and more specifically, their buying behavior. Data is Web 2.0’s digital gold, and tech companies adjust their offerings according to this data.
In the Web 3.0 network, Amazon would still have access to the same offer, however doing so would collude with the ideals of decentralization, something which was heavily criticized in China’s implementation of the e-yuan.
Amazon’s industry hegemony could work against the titan as it could be associated with the identical typology which blockchain and cryptocurrencies were created to depose: centralization.
Moreover, Amazon’s centralized and monopolistic approach could hinder their growth as a trusted enterprise amid affiliation to crypto.