Amazon has officially denied media reports that it is planning to begin accepting Bitcoin payments by the end of the year.
Bitcoin’s value soared by nearly 20 per cent yesterday after reports emerged suggesting that the ecommerce giant was “ready to roll” on a project to begin accepting cryptocurrencies.
It came after Amazon posted a job advert on Sunday evening for someone to join its Payments Acceptance & Experience team to “develop Amazon’s digital currency and blockchain strategy and product roadmap”.
Adding fuel to the growing speculation, City AM published an article citing an unnamed “insider” who suggested its cryptocurrency strategy went far beyond accepting Bitcoin.
They told the publication: “This isn’t just going through the motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future – this is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work.
“It begins with Bitcoin – this is the key first stage of this crypto project, and the directive is coming from the very top… Jeff Bezos himself.”
They went on to suggest that Amazon will eventually accept the eight most popular cryptocurrencies, then explore tokenisation by offering rewards as part of a loyalty scheme.
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“There’s little more to it, for now, but you can guarantee the Bitcoin plan will be monitored closely as opportunities with Amazon’s own version of a crypto will be explored,” they continued.
However, an Amazon spokesperson has denied the speculation, stating: “Notwithstanding our interest in the space, the speculation that has ensued around our specific plans for cryptocurrencies is not true,” said a spokesperson from Amazon.
“We remain focused on exploring what this could look like for customers shopping on Amazon.”
The rumours helped Bitcoin recover from its recent sell off, settling at around six per cent higher on Monday at $37,684 after seeing peaks of over 15 per cent.
Wunderman Thompson Commerce’s head of innovation Naji El-Arifi said that the addition of cryptocurrency to Amazon’s ever-expanding offering was not so surprising.
“Rumours around Amazon taking a punt on cryptocurrency – and potentially creating its own native token – aren’t all that surprising for a company that has expanded every which way horizontally and vertically,” he said.
“After all, 54% of consumers would be open to banking with their chosen marketplace, of which Amazon is often the favourite globally.
“Yet one of the big question marks on this is the environmental impact of Bitcoin and whether this will untie some of the sustainability pledges Amazon is making. One avenue the online giant might take is to introduce its own environmentally-friendly cryptocurrency. And if there is one company that can capitalise on this trend, it’s Amazon!”