Some of the world's biggest tech and e-commerce giants are making huge strides toward embracing the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry. You only have to look at the way Samsung has developed its latest Galaxy S10 smartphone to offer cryptocurrency wallet capability and other crypto-related apps to see that.
In the Far East, Japan's e-commerce behemoth Rakuten is also forging ahead with plans to unveil its very own cryptocurrency exchange. These developments beg the question as to whether the kings of the post-millennium tech era, Apple and Amazon, are likely to follow suit.
Do Amazon Consumers Want To Buy Crypto Through Amazon?
According to a recent survey of loyal Amazon consumers, just over a tenth (13 percent) of shoppers quizzed said they would be comfortable using an Amazon-backed exchange to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It suggests there isn't enough of an appetite for Amazon to get involved. It may be hard for Amazon to compete when there are safer ways to buy Bitcoin and profit from the moves of the underlying asset without physically owning and storing the cryptocurrency via contracts for difference (CFD) brokers.
Nevertheless, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of leading global crypto exchange Binance says it is only a matter of time before Amazon embraces cryptocurrency. He says that for "any internet based business," he doesn't "understand why anyone would not accept crypto for payments." Zhao believes that Amazon will "have to issue a currency sooner or later," probably in the form of a utility or security token.
During the same week that Zhao said his piece on Amazon, Twitter's own chief executive, Jack Dorsey, reiterated his previous prediction that the internet would eventually require a unified default currency for all users, which could yet be Bitcoin. Dorsey was invited onto The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where he repeated that Bitcoin — being the largest cryptocurrency — was the obvious choice to become the internet's default currency.
"[Bitcoin] was something that was born on the internet, that was developed on the internet, that was tested on the internet...It is of the internet," he said.
What Would Happen If An 'AmazonCoin' Was Launched?
The creation of a utility or security token, such as an AmazonCoin, could potentially be used by the platform's millions of users to unlock exclusive discounts or special account features. It is also true that the use of an Amazon-backed crypto token would reduce the threat of debit and credit card fraud. More crucially for Amazon as a growing global e-commerce platform, its use of a cryptocurrency would also solve the payment method issue for regions where traditional banking is more of a problem.
Rumors of Amazon making a foray into the cryptocurrency space have been rife since 2017. This was due to a spate of website domain name registrations that were completed by Amazon's legal team in October 2017, with AmazonEthereum.com, AmazonCryptocurrencies.com, and AmazonCryptocurrency.com all acquired. No official announcements have ever been made on these acquisitions, with the company remaining tight-lipped on its plans for a foray into the crypto or blockchain space. Even if they don't adopt their own utility or security token, it's highly possible that Amazon will look toward blockchain as the next-generation solution for their supply chain management, with an increasingly global operation demanding logistical efficiency.
What Will The Impact Of Apple Card Be On Cryptocurrency?
Meanwhile, Apple recently confirmed that it would be moving into the credit card marketplace, with the aid of Goldman Sachs. The tech giant confirmed their plans at the annual Apple event, with Apple Card designed to work in conjunction with Apple Pay, the brand's very own payment processing platform. It is reported that Apple Card, in conjunction with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard, will be available as a mainstream payment option later this summer. The headline features of the Apple Card include no international, annual, or late fees as well as cash back on specific purchases.
Apple's move into the payment solutions market has cast doubt over the future of crypto-based payment solutions. They aren't alone either — Facebook has also sought to become the leading mobile payment solution for social media users. Having Apple and Facebook to compete with is always going to be an uphill task for fledgling crypto-based payment solutions platforms.
On the flip side, the advent of Apple and Facebook in the payment solutions market could breathe new life into the crypto space. It could make it easier for mainstream consumers too, by cryptocurrencies using Apple and Facebook methods in the coming months and years, thereby fostering the mass adoption of Bitcoin and other emerging altcoins.