Cryptocurrency: Expert on how financial system is being 'remade'
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Bitcoin surged through the market this week on the back of a recent announcement from Amazon. The company is seeking someone with a “deep understanding” of the cryptocurrency “ecosystem and related technologies.” BTC accrued 14 percent of its value, shifting from $34,794 (£25,020) to $38,665 (£27,804) in a matter of hours on the weekend.
A company insider later revealed to City AM the listing marked a concerted effort to guide the company towards cryptocurrency payments.
They said Amazon was “definitely” lining up Bitcoin as a potential payment method and even looking to create a token.
And the move is a “full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work.”
The insider added the directive came from “Jeff Bezos himself” and future tokenisation could create a “multi-level infrastructure where you can pay for goods and services or earn tokens in a loyalty scheme.”
Amazon has said rumours of these specific plans are “not true”.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, a spokesman for the company said they “remain focussed” on exploring how working with Bitcoin could look for them.
Experts believe if it wished, Amazon could eventually create a token to rival established currencies.
Naji El-Arifi, Head of Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, a global eCommerce consultancy, said it could do so by tying its own currency to the Prime loyalty programme.
He told Express.co.uk: “Rumours around Amazon taking a punt on cryptocurrency – and potentially creating its own native token – aren’t all that surprising for a company that has expanded every which way horizontally and vertically.
“After all, 54 percent of consumers would be open to banking with their chosen marketplace, of which Amazon is often the favourite globally.
“Amazon will likely tie this cryptocurrency in with its Prime loyalty programme in a bid to attract more subscribers; if it owns the currency it will likely be able to personalise its offering and draw users away from other more established currencies.
“And this won’t just be Bitcoin but potential fiat currencies like the dollar.”
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Mr El-Arifi also touched on potential drawbacks investing in cryptocurrency could bring for the company.
He questioned whether the “environmental impact” of Bitcoin would “untie some of the sustainability pledges Amazon is making.”
Amazon could find a way around this by creating an “environmentally-friendly cryptocurrency”, he said.
If it did pursue this angle, Amazon would join a growing number of business leaders aiming to make cryptocurrency sustainable.
Elon Musk recently rowed back Tesla’s involvement in Bitcoin, citing its reliance on coal and fuel.
These emissions persuaded him to halt Bitcoins sales from the electric car manufacturer in May.
Mr Musk also said he would continue this policy until mining transactions use “more sustainable technology”.
He has since continued trumpeting altcoin DOGE, stating developers have made “promising” advancements in sustainability.
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