Amazon denies report it will accept bitcoin as payment this year

  • 27/07/2021
The price of bitcoin spiked amid reports the shopping giant would accept the cryptocurrency.
The price of bitcoin spiked amid reports the shopping giant would accept the cryptocurrency. Photo credit: Getty Images

Global shopping giant Amazon has denied a report it is gearing up to accept bitcoin payments by the end of the year.

London's City AM newspaper quoted an unnamed insider at the Jeff Bezos-founded company as saying it's also investigating creating its own cryptocurrency for launch in 2022.

The report came after Amazon posted a job vacancy looking for someone who is able to "leverage domain expertise in blockchain, distributed ledger, central bank digital currencies and cryptocurrency".

The price of bitcoin soared after the report, up as much as 14.5 percent at its highest, before it settled around 6 percent higher at around NZ$54,000 each.

But the story simply isn't true, according to Amazon.

"Notwithstanding our interest in the space, the speculation that has ensued around our specific plans for cryptocurrencies is not true," a spokesperson for the company told Reuters.

"We remain focused on exploring what this could look like for customers shopping on Amazon."

The insider told City AM that the hiring was the first stage of the project and the directive had come from Jeff Bezos, the former CEO who handed over to Andy Jassy on July 5 this year.

"This is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work," the insider told City AM.

"It begins with bitcoin. Ethereum, cardano and bitcoin cash will be next in line before they bring about eight of the most popular cryptocurrencies online," they added.

Cryptocurrencies are controversial for a number of reasons, including their ability to bypass financial regulations and the environmental impact of mining the coin. But they have high-profile supporters including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Earlier this week Musk confirmed Tesla will likely restart accepting bitcoin as a means of payment once more renewable energy is used to create it.

And Dorsey has an even bigger goal - he hopes cryptocurrencies will bring about world peace.

"We have all these monopolies off balance and the individual doesn’t have power and the amount of cost and distraction that comes from our monetary system today is real and it takes away attention from the bigger problems," he said.

"All these distractions that we have to deal with on a daily basis take away from those bigger goals that affect every single person on this planet and increasingly so.

"You fix that foundational level and everything above it improves in such a dramatic way. It's going to be long-term but my hope is definitely peace."