Now that the dust has somewhat settled down around the social media giant Facebook’s crypto endeavor dubbed, Project Libra, all eyes are on Amazon. Is the online shipping giant next to launch a crypto project? The answer is unfortunately, no. Vice President of Amazon Pay, Patrick Gaulthier, only recently just cleared out Amazon’s stance at a conference on cryptos, dismissing all rumors and speculations regarding an Amazon backed crypto endeavor.
While speaking at Fortune’s Brainstorm Finance 2019 event, Gaulthier shared that the kind of crypto ecosystem Facebook has introduced this week, is too far down the road for Amazon.
He is of the opinion that now is just not the right time for Amazon specifically to be focusing on using technologies like crypto that though fresh are speculative in nature. While responding to a question regarding Libra, he said:
It’s fresh, it’s speculative; at Amazon, we don’t really deal with the speculative, [we deal] in the now.
He further went on explaining that customer trust is primary and of the utmost importance for the company, and the platform nurtures that trust by catering to the customer’s needs. He further added:
Part of nurturing the trust of the customers means that we always start from an identified need that we think we can really understand and that we have the capabilities to solve.
Judging from Gaulthier’s words, it seems that the reason behind Amazon’s non-friendly outlook towards crypto related projects is the platform’s inability. However, he clarified his statement the very next second, saying:
The fact that we can build something does not mean that we should. We’re constantly asking ourselves, will we, with a well identifiable need create a solution that will actually solve a customer problem today and scale.
While Gaulthier’s take on Amazon and crypto may be discouraging and may appear as if the company doesn’t think there is a return on investment (ROI) or customer interest in this area, it doesn’t however reject the idea of an Amazon-backed crypto project in its entirety. He did say that he would be happy to discuss the prospects of the cryptocurrecy on Amazon maybe two or three years down the road.
Facebook Versus Amazon
The chances of Amazon getting into crypto aren’t thin or far-fetched because of Facebook’s Project Libra. In fact, Libra could be the motivation behind Amazon creating its native cryptocurrency because one of the major applications the social media platform’s cryptocurreny will be e-commerce transactions. That coupled with the fact that it is likely to have a transaction fees far lower than the rates offered by credit card companies and payment processors, can potentially stir up some real competition for Amazon.
Could the Success of Libra Force Amazon into Crypto?
It is in fact highly likely that the success of the Facebook’s cryptocurrency pushes Amazon into a corner to launch its own cryptocurrency, if Libra manages to achieve the same presence and stature as that of credit cards and PayPal.
Another important factor to note is the scale that both the giants are operating at. Facebook boasts an impressive user base of about 2 billion users while Amazon has more than 100 million users subscribed to Amazon Prime alone, which means that Amazon’s competition isn’t as far off as some would like to think.
In the past week, many prominent people and financial institutions have offered bullish analysis of the forthcoming cryptocurrency, including the Bank of America, that says:
“With more than 2.5 billion users, Facebook and its partners could be a significant endorsement of cryptocurrency and a notable addition to the Facebook app ecosystem… We see the launch as an important initiative for the company as it builds out a more private messaging ecosystem with e-commerce capabilities.”
Nonetheless it’s safe to hold off all judgments till at least mid next year, that is when Libra will be launched and only then will we be able gauge its success in the market clearly.
Amazon and Crypto Rumors
Looking at the facts, Amazon hasn’t shown any concrete signs that suggest that the platform is interested in developing a cryptocurrency. But the company has made plenty of blockchain friendly moves, which ultimately gave fire to crypto rumors.
Amazon is quickly becoming a dominant player in the blockchain space, vastly because of its cloud-based Amazon Web Services which provide blockchain services for businesses, and the Amazon Managed Blockchain that expands on the company’s blockchain offerings.
Additionally, the e-commerce giant also registered several domain names back in 2017 which opened the Pandora’s Box of speculations regarding an imminent Amazon cryptocurrency.
Furthermore, the platform has also struck up some notable partnerships in the blockchain space with the likes of Consensys, R3 and Centrality. However, it is highly unlikely for these partnerships to yield any cryptocurrency related project for Amazon.
Many believe that for now Amazon is just observing how cryptocurrency pans out for other big names in the industry and considering the failure of other major retailers such as Overstock and Expedia with cryptocurrency, it’s safe to assume that Amazon is in no rush to compete in the crypto race.
Now Facebook’s Libra is going to be on Amazon’s radar as they see how it plays out. If it doesn’t come crashing down and exhibits a potential demand in the market, then Amazon is likely to kick-start its crypto endeavor.