Does Amazon Accept Bitcoin?
Amazon accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is one of the most speculated and anticipated moves in the digital currency scene. Because of Amazon’s size and influence, if it decides to adopt Bitcoin, it could skyrocket the cryptocurrency into the mainstream.
So, after all this speculation, is Amazon finally going to accept Bitcoin as a payment option?
Not At The Moment
Unfortunately, Amazon has no plans yet of directly accepting Bitcoin. At least, not anytime soon. The retail giant has yet to accept any kind of digital currency at all. Even though Bitcoin is now a decade old and has amassed a loyal following, Amazon refuses to allow it on the website.
Amazon itself has not given any official reason as to why they haven’t adopted digital currency yet in the first place. Reasons abound, ranging from CEO Jeff Bezos having a disdain for Bitcoins in general, to secret plans of Amazon launching its very own cryptocurrency.
It could also be that Amazon already has lucrative payment deals with traditional processors like Visa. With the retailer’s size, such agreements are enormous competitive advantages for Amazon, something that they wouldn’t be able to get should they choose to adopt Bitcoin.
But an anonymous Amazon employee has previously stated that the talks about the company accepting Bitcoin were always at the table. And he shed some light on some of the reasons why it’s still not implemented yet.
One of them is price volatility. Compared to fiat money and other traditional currencies, Bitcoin is highly volatile. The price fluctuates unexpectedly, and in huge amounts, in just days. The volatility makes it extremely challenging for Amazon to price its products, which it already operates at fine margins.
This difficulty with volatility also makes it challenging to issue returns and refunds. Because of this, it would be hard for Amazon to refund the same value in Bitcoins that the customer paid in the first place.
But There Are Signs
Back in 2014, Amazon stated that it would not adopt Bitcoin simply because that’s something that their customers aren’t looking for. But one could argue that things are changing. Indeed, the user base has widened and matured to the point that it would be hard for Amazon to ignore completely.
Amazon, however, is not 100 percent hands-off with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general. It doesn’t take a total sleuth to find the little clues they leave behind.
A subsidiary of Amazon, called Amazon Technologies, recently got a patent for a “streaming data marketplace” that cited Bitcoin as one of its use cases. To further support their crypto claim, the company has acquired crypto-related domain names like amazoncryptocurrency.com. Some of these, like amazonbitcoin.com, even redirect already to their main website.
Amazon itself is no stranger to blockchain technology, which they offer as part of their Amazon Web Services suite. Blockchain tech allows you to create Ethereum quickly and easily. Amazon also has experience with using digital coins via their Amazon Coins feature, which you can use to buy games and apps.
Bitcoin Payment Alternatives
The good news is that if you still want to use Bitcoins with Amazon, you can, albeit indirectly. There are lots of other third-party solutions that accept Bitcoins and convert it into a fiat currency that Amazon can accept.
The easiest, of course, is to use an exchange platform like Coinbase. Through this platform, it allows you to trade your cryptocurrency for fiat money like U.S. dollars. You can then use this to top-up an Amazon-supported payment processor like PayPal.
Of course, it’s a bit convoluted. There are many more elegant systems out there that offer a browser extension that automatically converts Bitcoin and sends payment over to Amazon. One of them is the startup company Moon.
Moon detects when you’re about to check out in Amazon, at which point it automatically inserts a payment widget. You can use this widget to send Bitcoin payments, and it will convert it to a payment option that’s compatible with Amazon.
Another cost-effective method is to use an Amazon gift card that is valid at Amazon. You can buy these gift cards at other websites like Rewards Pay Inc. and eGifter.com. Some of them do allow purchasing of gift cards using Bitcoin, offering a nice and easy way to use Bitcoin to purchase Amazon products indirectly.
So while Amazon hasn’t yet officially adopted Bitcoin, it doesn’t mean that you are entirely locked out of using the digital currency with the e-commerce giant.