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Yoni Mazor, CGO of Getida, explains why the use of cryptocurrency for one of the world’s biggest online marketplaces is seen as a win-win for consumers and sellers.
E-commerce voyeurs and consumers had a jaw-dropping shock recently summer as bitcoin surged with the revelation that Amazon, the mega e-commerce giant, opened job slots for product lead developers in cryptocurrency.
The revelation comes as cryptocurrency continues to make waves in the mainstream markets as one of the fastest-growing payment types independent from government and financial institutions.
Amazon's growing attraction to cryptocurrency is creating conjecture that the giant is attempting to make a significant imprint in the resolution of online fraud, fostering more security in purchase decisions for their customers.
With billions of transactions processed each day, Amazon's job posting has e-commerce heads buzzing about whether this new move will push forward or fall to the wayside.
In the job posting, Amazon states that applicants must "own the vision and strategy for Amazon's Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap" while also having a "deep understanding of the digital/cryptocurrency ecosystem and related technologies."
In spite of its volatility, crypto's rise in popularity is mainly attributed to the fact it offers quick, easy, and relatively cheap transactions. And the move towards crypto has increased steadily as the digital payment type has become more accessible and more popular.
Amid wildly circulating theories, Amazon stepped in to deny claims of timely acceptance of cryptocurrencies and released a statement stating that "notwithstanding our interest in the space, the speculation that has ensued around our specific plans for cryptocurrencies is not true."
The online giant's statement comes after a London paper cited an internal source claiming the move to crypto was imminent. According to the City AM article, Amazon is ready to accept bitcoin payments and tokens as early as this year, and possibly roll out its own "native token" as well.
Amazon's job posting could be revolutionary for e-commerce but it is not the first large conglomerate open to the possibility of cryptocurrency, and speculation is that this move will ensure it won't be the last.
With emissions running high in crypto, Tesla backed out of accepting the digital payment earlier this year, but then two months later, changed its tune (BBC) noticing Amazon's move, and admitted acceptance of the digital currency is, once again, "likely."
Despite crypto's many possibilities, any negative impact on the environment generated through the large-scale coal emissions an industry like this creates could force an adverse reaction from consumers. But even that doesn't seem to be stopping the online marketplace from diving into the possibility of using cryptocurrencies.
The use of cryptocurrency for one of the world's biggest online marketplaces is also seen as a win-win for consumers and sellers. Third-party Amazon sellers are reeling with anticipation over news of the job posting. Not only could the use of cryptocurrencies offer more security and ease of transactions to consumers, but sellers are intrigued by the possibility of crypto to fend off hackers and offer more security in their Amazon payment deposits and account level oversight.
Consumers are also intrigued about Amazon's move to crypto as this could potentially mean a reduction in costs since third-party sellers often mark-up product pricing to factor Amazon's selling fees into their margins. Amazon sellers are hopeful about the possibility of lower Amazon selling fees as the transactional costs towards using crypto are expected to be lower.
Another benefit of cryptocurrency is the blockchain technology that enables its existence, a technology that can also aid in storing product warranties. Consumers would no longer have the frustration of lost paper receipts and being unable to prove warranty coverage as the blockchain would solve this problem. Sellers and customers would all be able to access the data, allowing proof of ownership to be easily validated.
Alongside secure, easy, and cost-effective fee structures, the global economy could benefit from reducing inflationary pressures. Introducing the use of crypto in payment options worldwide could eventually result in widespread change from moving assets to cash, thus avoiding inflationary trends. This is a change that many say is long overdue, while others speculate crypto is still too volatile to affect this type of sweeping economic shift.
If Amazon decides to tackle the world of cryptocurrency, it will be interesting to see whether their "native token" is eventually traded on the crypto exchanges. This will only strengthen the online powerhouse stronghold in e-commerce and cryptocurrency trading.
In addition, if Amazon adopts crypto and speculation that currency will forever be changed is correct, how will brick and mortar retail be affected by this new wave of self-checkouts? As the e-commerce shopping experience becomes smoother and more secure with crypto, will self-checkout retail also embrace this trend and offer its customers lower costs and added security?
If Amazon paves the way for online marketplaces and retail adapts, will this mean Amazon fosters stronger relationships in the retail sector, or will it mean retail giants must now depend on the online powerhouse to facilitate crypto payment processing structures?
Amazon's potential move to crypto is already impactful, but the widespread influence of cryptocurrency in and of itself leaves lingering doubts as to how retail will adapt in such a fast-paced environment. If retail can't catch up with the times, then can it be said that "retail is dead"?
The question then remains of whether this type of outcome will get Amazon to reinvent the use of the world's greatest commodity: money. Only time will tell. For now, the global e-commerce world is waiting for Amazon's next move.
Yoni Mazor is co-founder and CGO of GETIDA.