Amazon has registered three Internet domain names relevant to the blockchain and cryptocurrency movement, according to a Domain Name Wire report.
The three domain names are amazoncryptocurrencies.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com and amazonethereum.com, the report stated. The e-commerce giant currently doesn’t currently accept any forms of cryptocurrency, and has yet to announced any plans to enter that market.
The third of the three domain names refers to Ethereum blockchain, which Block Geeks explains in part: "In the Ethereum blockchain, instead of mining for bitcoin, miners work to earn Ether, a type of crypto token that fuels the network. Beyond a tradeable cryptocurrency, Ether is also used by application developers to pay for transaction fees and services on the Ethereum network."
We should know by now that Amazon is relentless (the word Jeff Bezos reportedly wanted to use as the name of the company.) It's relentlessness extends beyond its everyday business and into just about any idea, concept or premise of possibilities that crosses its collective corporate mind. Knowing that, it's easy to see this as a speculative move by an ambitious company that may not have anything immediate planned, but once to make sure its has skins in the game somehow.
Amazon doesn't accept bitcoin or traffic in ethereum or do much currently — to the public knowledge anyway — with cryptocurrencies, and very few retailers in general are working with blockchain digital ledger technology or accepting bitcoin. Walmart has started to embrace blockchain in specific applications, and Starbucks late last year became the rare retailer to process bitcoin transactions in its mobile app.
However as retailers aim to accept any form of payment that allows them to close more customer purchases, cryptocurrencies could become more relevant in one way or another. Amazon is known for being almost always ahead of the game (this is the company collecting delivery drone-related patents like trading cards.) It may not be doing anything with cryptocurrencies now, and may not have concrete plans to yet, but may also be of a mind that it needs to preemptively defend itself by laying out a few cryptocurrency placeholders. Registering domain names is a quick and easy way to do that without risking very costly and negative PR implications down the road if the whole cryptocurrency movement fizzles.
But what if this isn't highly speculative or defensive at all? What if it's for real? Could Amazon be close to dropping a major cryptocurrency-related announcement? Could it be close to accepting cryptocurrencies for purchases? If not for use on the main Amazon site, could Amazon use something like Ethereum in its dealings with the application developers building out its Alexa ecosystem? There are a lot of questions there, and no answers yet, but Amazon has a knack for turning whimsical ideas into something more real.