Amazon Urbi and Orbi
Amazon made nearly $ 100 billion in revenue in 2017 and accounts for nearly half of online purchases in the US. The successes of Prime, Amazon Web services, Kindle, Twitch or Alexa have shown that Amazon can attack new sectors far from their base and quickly become a leader.
No Crypto for Amazon?
But it could be that Amazon’s biggest project has yet to see the light of day.
We can’t always not pay on Amazon with crypto currencies and no major Blockchain project has yet been launched by Amazon.
Rather surprising then that many analysts predict that the only actors capable of making Amazon or Facebook obsolete, are actors who will come from decentralization.
In fact Amazon made a 1er not – not very popular – in the field of digital currencies in 2013. Indeed Amazon had then launched the Amazon coin which allows Kindle Fire users to purchase apps or games from the Amazon appstore.
The Amazon coin is worth a dime of dollars. One of the reasons that Amazon coin is attractive to users is that if they buy from Amazon coin, they get a 24% discount on their purchases.
From 2013 an article by TheVerge asserted “When you arrive on amazon.com, it’s like arriving in a foreign country. If this country has its own currency and gives you discounts or other benefits to induce you to exchange some of your currency for theirs, you may do so ”.
The main reason for Amazon coin failure is that the coin is only usable in the Amazon appstore and does not purchase other goods and services offered by Amazon. Another reason is that there is no secondary market that would allow users to resell unused Amazon coins (as is commonly done with gift cards).
It should be noted that Facebook either did not succeed / believe in its virtual currency, facebook credits, launched in 2010 and which made it possible to pay for objects or actions in games and / or to watch streaming movies. Facebook stopped the development of FB credits in 2011 because Mark Zuckerberg did not believe in virtual currencies (he has since changed his mind because he announced in January that cryptocurrencies and Blockchain are a priority for him in 2018 …, and would have (rumored) hired Litecoin founder – Charlie Lee – to work on a cryptocurrency project for Facebook). Update: this project would be called Libra and should be operational in 2020
Customers – and competitors – are ready
It seems that Amazon customers are already ready to take the plunge. In a recent study by LendEDU : 52% of Amazon customers responded that they would use an Amazon cryptocurrency to be able to buy on the site and 45% would be willing to use Amazon as their main bank.
On the side of competitors, note Overstock CEO – a US competitor of Amazon is considering abandoning its retail activity to focus only on the ten or so Blockchain businesses that they have launched.
The main ecommerce initiative on the Blockchain is Openbazaar – which works through downloadable software – is an open source project that develops a protocol for ecommerce transactions in a completely decentralized marketplace that uses cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange .
Amazon, a major player in Finance?
The tens of thousands of Amazon developers would quickly allow them to have a robust, secure, scalable and fast cryptocurrency solution to launch a currency that could be usable for their existing assets but also to launch into new trades.
So Amazon could become a bank by going directly to the Blockchain stage and could either buy an actor such as Coinbase or create an exchange, use AWS to do mining, offer a single currency and a means of payment without exchange fees …
Stronger than Bitcoin?
As we say David Malik : “Amazon token could be the first world currency and become a protocol that would be worth trillions”
It is even a threat to Bitcoin which is a reserve value for it but is not used in the economy (mainly because of the volatility of the price of bitcoin, the amount of transaction fees and their slowness).
Amazon could quickly ‘force’ the adoption of the token:
– by offering a 5% discount for any purchase paid with the Amazon token (or depending on the What could be excellent from a cash flow point of view, because some customers would be ready to buy in advance (Like having cash in their wallet)
– by offering free tokens to its more than 80 million Prime users (“airdrop” in cryptocurrency jargon).
– but also by creating a compensation system for ecosystem contributors (media platforms, temporary employees, etc.) who could be paid in tokens. (It is interesting to note that it was Amazon who invented the affiliation and that we are witnessing a new generation of affiliation with bounty / rewards quite predominant in the cryptocurrency ecosystem).
Jeff Bezos could go as far as to impose Amazon’s token as the exclusive currency for their offerings.
The Amazon token could actually be bigger than Bitcoin and become a massive and accepted medium of exchange all over the world.
And the ultimate blow would be to couple this with securities tokens that would allow all users to benefit from a share of future results according to the ICO model. In this scenario, token holders are not just speculators as with the majority of projects that have done ICOs and have no volume, but are stakeholders as consumers and owners of the Amazon ecosystem. . Spending the tokens will create tangible value for all participants.
Many challenges will stand in the way of Amazon to realize this vision: how will it set the prices of services according to geographic areas? Will there be a second token march? How many tokens will have to be issued? With what monetary policy?
How will the other brands react? All of them will one day have a cryptocurrency, and as with any innovation, those who dive into it first will have a crucial head start.
Serial entrepreneur in the digital world, Michael launched three companies in France (web development, ad-network and digital media agency) which he sold in 2007 before leaving for Palo Alto where he created itfeelgoods in 2010. Michael is invested in the start-up ecosystem, he is an investor in around ten start-ups, 3 investment funds, ambassador for French Tech and board member StationF and mentor of several organizations and start-ups.