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Crypto for Amazon?

Andy Jassy built a blockchain service on AWS, but he was skeptical of the technology’s ability to address the company’s largest issues.

The founder of online retail giant Amazon, Jeff Bezos announced today that he will step down as CEO later this year. Andy Jassy who now leads the corporation’s cloud computing subsidiary, Amazon Web Services (AWS), will take the reins in Q3.

Under Jassy’s leadership, AWS introduced Amazon Managed Blockchain, a service for developers looking to build in Hyperledger Fabric or Ethereum without supplying their hosting or hardware.

The CEO of America’s biggest tech company, Jassy wants to look at integrating cryptocurrency payments.

Jassy’s enthusiasm for blockchain tech isn’t boundless. At a 2018 AWS keynote, he said, “We just hadn’t seen that many blockchain examples in production or that couldn’t pretty easily be solved by a database.”

Consequently, rather than building an Amazon blockchain, Jassy focused energy toward Amazon Quantum Ledger Database. Like blockchains, it makes claims to transparency, immutability, and cryptographic security. Unlike blockchains, it relies on a “central trusted authority.”

Jassy’s interest in blockchain tech is not boundless. At a 2018 AWS keynote, he stated But this isn’t 2018. Jassy will take control of the world’s third-largest company at a time when corporations are increasingly looking for ways into crypto, not blockchain.

Facebook has spearheaded the Diem Association as it looks at tokenized payment systems that will work across its various social media platforms. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has relied on the work of cryptocurrency veterans to jumpstart a decentralized social media standard.

With Amazon’s status as the United States’ top online seller, its stance on crypto is mainly relevant for cryptocurrency adoption. In 2014, became the first major US retailer to accept Bitcoin. It has since been joined by companies and organizations as diverse as Wikipedia and KFC. But no one gets as many and wants to facilitate seamless payments as much as Amazon.

While the users of can shop with Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash in Amazon, complete integration of crypto payments will give users with payment options beyond their checking and credit card accounts.

PayPal, which is not directly integrated with Facebook, has already taken little steps toward integration with payments. Last year, it integrated cryptocurrency purchases on its platform. Alternately, Amazon has the clout like Facebook does, to create its token.

As BitPay’s director of product, Sean Rolland stated in November, “To directly take Bitcoin as a method of payment, Amazon would have to build processes and procedures to accept, hold and manage Bitcoin and thousands of other cryptocurrencies.” Furthermore, he said, “They would have to assume the inherent market volatility risks associated with holding crypto on their balance sheet and selling crypto to/through a crypto exchange in exchange for fiat currency.”

Nevertheless, Jassy is still an innovator. As the founder of AWS, he saw that Amazon can dominate outside of retail by owning the infrastructure. Now, as the new CEO of the parent company, one of the key questions he will face is if the company shall ride the Web3 wave.

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