Amazon CEO Andy Jassy Reveals Company Stance on Crypto and NFTs

This morning Amazon CEO Andy Jassy was interviewed on CNBC and he revealed that the company is not yet ready to accept cryptocurrencies.

“We’re probably not close to adding crypto as a payment mechanism in our retail business, but I think over time you’ll see crypto getting bigger,” Andrew Ross Sorkin of Jassy CNBC in a Squawk Box interview.

Last year, the company appeared to have a job posting suggesting the online retailer could soon embrace crypto. But since then, there has been very little news about this possibility.

Other marketplaces are also waiting to adopt crypto. None of the other major online marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook, Walmart.com, or Etsy accept cryptocurrencies.

Newegg, the technology-driven marketplace, is about the only exception among major marketplaces in the United States that has openly embraced and expanded cryptocurrency acceptance.

Amazon on NFTs

Jassy also discussed the growth of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and believes that Amazon could one day become a place where they are sold. “I think it’s possible down the road on the platform,” he said.

NFTs are digital assets such as digital music, art, photos, virtual worlds, etc. which are stored on a blockchain and can be sold and traded. Sales of NFTs jumped to $17 billion in 2021, according to a report, which is why interest is growing so much for their availability in “legacy” online marketplaces.

eBay entered the NFT space last year by opening the platform up to trusted sellers. It also plans to roll out its eBay Vault later this year, which it says would enable fractional ownership of alternative assets. This would likely be NFT-based, but we’ll have to wait to see the full details of this vault initiative.

Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg recently suggested that Instagram may soon be entering the NFT space.

During his talk at SXSW, he said he was considering items like avatar clothing in the Metaverse to sell as NFTs on Instagram. But Zuckerberg also acknowledged that there is still a long way to go as many technical issues need to be resolved first.

Etsy has been pretty quiet on NFTs in general and there doesn’t seem to be any significant movement from the company to enter the space.

The marketplace has a policy page on NFTs if they are sold together with a physical good on the platform. But this page basically states that they take no responsibility for the transfer of NFT as this transfer takes place off-platform.

While NFTs are growing in popularity significantly, it is quite evident that major markets are slow to adopt them and take a slow or wait-and-see approach.

Currently, OpenSea, Rarible, and Mark Cuban-backed Mintable are among the best-known NFT marketplaces, but none have the brand recognition of Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or Instagram.

If Amazon decides to allow NFT sales, it could greatly disrupt the market. Jassy opening the door to this possibility is interesting, but it doesn’t appear to be something that will happen in the short term.

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