Last modified: December 8th, 2022 at 12:37 pm
Update: Amazon has issued a fairly blunt denial to the City AM story that it planned to accept Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. “Notwithstanding our interest in the space, the speculation that has ensued around our specific plans for cryptocurrencies is not true,” a spokesperson told CoinDesk. “We remain focused on exploring what this could look like for customers shopping on Amazon.”
The original article continues below.
Bitcoin, that most stable of all currencies, has another resurgence after its massive hit in May. In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin has risen 12.16% to hit NZ$55,015.84 – the highest price it’s been at since June.
While still some way down from its 2021 high point – April 14 when it hit NZ$91,919.70 – the cryptocurrency is still having a pretty great time, with an overall rise of 270% from this time last year, as the graph below from Coinbase demonstrates.
Zooming in on the last 24 hours, you can see the rise wasn’t exactly what you’d call gradual:
So what exactly caused this spike? Well, fans of stability should look away now, because it appears that the surge was caused by the world’s richest man (a title briefly lost when he left the planet), Jeff Bezos. Amazon is now actively searching for a “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead” and according to City AM, the company has big plans to begin accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies before the year is out. The latter news breaking appears to have triggered the sudden Bitcoin bounce.
“This isn’t just going through the motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future – this is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work,” the site’s source explained excitedly. “It begins with Bitcoin – this is the key first stage of this crypto project, and the directive is coming from the very top… Jeff Bezos himself.” (A slightly strange claim, given Jeff Bezos actually stepped down as President in July, though he does retain the executive chairman title.)
While Bitcoin is set to lead the way, apparently that’s just the first step on a payment page which is going to look increasingly cluttered with crypto. “Ethereum, Cardano and Bitcoin Cash will be next in line before they bring about eight of the most popular cryptocurrencies online,” the Amazon insider continued. “It won’t take long because the plans are already there, and they have been working on them since 2019.”
Assuming this comes to pass – which is a fairly big assumption based on one account – Amazon wouldn’t be the first company to accept cryptocurrency, nor the first to actively affect the value by doing so. Tesla caused a similar spike in February, pushing Bitcoin from NZ$53,786 to NZ$64,162. Then, sometime later, Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk caused the currency to drop 10% by tweeting that the company wouldn’t accept it any more for environmental reasons.
If it does come true for Amazon, and you do decide to spend your cryptocurrency earnings on an Echo or a Kindle, do bear in mind that buyer’s remorse can kick like a mule with Bitcoin payments, because nobody really knows how high it will go.
This is best demonstrated by the case of Laszlo Hanyecz who, in 2010, spent 10,000 Bitcoin on some pizza from Papa John’s. By today’s value, that would come to NZ$561,006,065 and – with the greatest respect to the Papa – it’s unlikely dinner was worth quite that much.