One of the most popular places for gathering news and intel on cryptocurrency is buzzing over a new rumor: Amazon’s interest in accepting Bitcoin.
The rumor shot to the front page of the r/cryptocurrency subreddit, citing an anonymous software engineer at the tech giant who said Amazon has discussed accepting Bitcoin “multiple times” and that the main sticking point is how the company would deal with returns and issuing refunds, since Bitcoin’s price is subject to extreme volatility.
Although Amazon has been tight-lipped on its interest in crypto and blockchain, the company has made a number of moves in the space in recent months.
The Amazon subsidiary “Amazon Technologies, Inc.” recently won a patent for a streaming data marketplace that would allow users to view crypto transaction data in real-time.
The patent cites Bitcoin as a potential use case, stating “a group of electronic or internet retailers who accept Bitcoin transactions may have a shipping address that may correlate with the Bitcoin address. The electronic retailers may combine the shipping address with the Bitcoin transaction data to create correlated data and republish the combined data as a combined data stream.”
Amazon also bought three cryptocurrency-related domains late last year: amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com and amazoncryptocurrencies.com. It appears Amazon already owns amazonbitcoin.com, which currently redirects straight to amazon.com.
In addition to its web domain purchases, the company has also jumped head-first into the business of offering blockchain solutions through Amazon Web Services and AWS Blockchain Templates.
“These templates will let you launch an Ethereum (either public or private) or Hyperledger Fabric (private) network in a matter of minutes and with just a few clicks,” AWS announced in a blog post. “The templates create and configure all of the AWS resources needed to get you going in a robust and scalable fashion.”
Finally, on the subject of whether Amazon will create its own coin, the truth is, it already has.
Amazon created the little-known virtual currency Amazon Coin back in 2013. It’s not based on blockchain technology and it appears that it never caught on.
According to Amazon, the coins are designed to let customers “purchase eligible apps, games, and digital in-app items” on Android phones, Blackberry devices and Fire Tablets.