A recent survey of Amazon users by Investing.com finds that just 13% of online shoppers would be comfortable buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through the e-commerce giant. About the same percentage of people would be comfortable buying prescription drugs and medical marijuana from Jeff Bezos and company. Comparatively, about 73% of people show interest in purchasing an Amazon-branded computer.
Other notable statistics: almost half of all respondents don’t look anywhere else when shopping for books or electronics. However, less than 10% of respondents exclusively use Amazon for automotive needs, groceries, or handmade items.
It seems there are some areas where competitors retain dominance. Auto parts retailers have been flourishing. Although when Amazon began invading the space, some felt it would be the death of auto parts stores, companies like O’Reilly and Advance Auto Parts have adapted to a world of online shoppers. Their massive chains of stores act as a distribution network in the same way that Walmart is managing to compete.
Amazon already sells everything else, so why shouldn’t it get into the retail crypto business? For one thing, it’s a whole different ball game. Taxes and customer service costs are higher in the crypto business. Furthermore, Amazon has yet to accept cryptocurrency for online shopping. Doing so would be a necessary precursor to selling it.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao believes that Amazon’s embrace of cryptocurrency is inevitable.
He goes a step further, though, saying that Amazon will “have to” issue its own token eventually:
The notion of a utility or security token for one of the world’s most valuable companies is intriguing for cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Amazon has one of the largest paying userbases in history. In 2018, they were estimated to have around 76 million user accounts. The question is: what would an Amazon token do?
Paying in AmazonCoin could entail discounts or unlock access to special account features. It could cut down on credit card fraud. Most importantly, it could enable international commerce to regions that have banking problems.
Did you know there’s an entire business model built around the hundreds of thousands of Amazon Turk workers who cannot be paid in cash because they don’t have a bank account or live in a restricted region? Purse.io enables many Turk workers to exchange their Amazon scrip for Bitcoin, usually at an extreme premium. The creation of an Amazon cryptocurrency could change all that.
There are, of course, other benefits a blockchain-enabled ecosystem could have for Amazon. Using the services of a company like XYO Network, their delivery edge could be further solidified (an edge they are said to be losing over time).
Amazon is the golden goose of almost everything. That it has ignored the clamor of the cryptocurrency movement this long is interesting. One question that remains is: if the e-commerce giant ever does accept cryptocurrency or create one, will it be the final floodgate that leads to mass adoption? Or will it go the way of Expedia, Rakuten, and other major companies that have integrated crypto in the past?
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