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Rumors Accelerate For Amazon NFT Plans

Amazon appears to have teased that they’re working on an NFT marketplace.

Late last week, CoinDesk reported that their managing editor for global policy and regulation Nikhilesh De has received an email receipt from Amazon confirming a completed order for a digital token.

In the receipt, Amazon has mentioned that it has completed an order for a ‘digital token’, which is to be stored in a gallery. In the email, it appears that Amazon is teasing a few NFT marketplace features for those hoping to resell.

However, as of writing, the link supplied in email only directs to a 404 page, and Amazon has not yet launched an non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. 

In addition, De had not purchased a NFT from Amazon, and had no prior knowledge of Amazon’s integration of NFTs into their e-commerce products. According to De, the confirmation email came right after an automatic renewal of an Amazon Prime Video channel subscription.

So far, De’s order confirmation receipt from Amazon has been the only publicly circulated screenshot of an email from the popular marketplace, and at press time, no other users have stepped forward with a similar message from Amazon.

So, what’s going on with Amazon’s NFT ventures?

The email from the globally popular e-commerce platform does however provide new insights into what Amazon’s been cooking up in joining the NFT marketplace race.

Over the past few months, rumours have surfaced that Amazon is about to release its own NFT marketplace –  but no public comments from the e-commerce giant have been made.

Back in January, crypto news platform Blockworks first reported of Amazon’s new NFT venture, but has only mentioned anonymous sources regarding the matter. Blockworks noted that Amazon’s “digital assets enterprise” will focus on “blockchain-based gaming and related NFT applications.”

Earlier this month, crypto news site the Big Whale came out with a report that Amazon will reportedly launch its NFT marketplace on April 24, alongside 15 NFT collections on the same day. According to the report, Amazon’s NFT marketplace will be available under a new tab under Amazon’s main website, to be titled Amazon Digital Marketplace. The Big Whale has also cited anonymous sources for the matter.

The report adds that Amazon’s NFT platform will first launch for its US-based customers, and then will go international. The Big Whale adds that Amazon had attempted to launch the marketplace earlier, but has since been delayed twice as a result of the high-profile collapse of once-popular crypto exchange FTX last November.

As some onlookers see Amazon’s latest product offering-to-be as an excellent opportunity to onboard new users onto Web3, there’s some sceptics out there who believe that Amazon won’t support purchases for NFTs with crypto tokens, as they see that Amazon still is siding with Web2.

Despite this, Amazon had already worked with blockchain developers – back in January, Amazon partnered up with Ava Labs, the team behind Layer 1 blockchain Avalanche, to provide AWS services to developers.

Additionally, an anonymous source in Blockworks’ recent report says that Amazon plans to produce physical product-tie-in goods to NFTs offered on the anticipated marketplace, letting users “purchase a fashion-oriented NFT tied to a pair of jeans.”

According to the Blockworks report, posted last week, the back-end blockchain technology behind Amazon’s technology is not clear – whether it’s a fork of an existing protocol or not – but its anonymous sources say that the e-commerce giant intends on creating “some type of private blockchain.”

The anonymous sources have also said that it’s not yet clear that Amazon would launch its own token, to their knowledge.

An opportune time for an NFT marketplace launch

Meanwhile, the NFT market out there is beginning to show signs of recovery – with Dapp Radar reporting that trading volumes hit $2 billion in trading volume this February – the highest amount prior to the crash of Luna last May. 

According to Dapp Radar, OpenSea was home to $587 million worth of trades, behind its competitor Blur, boasting $1.3 billion in trading volume in February as its users are gamifying the platform’s BLUR token airdrop system.

DappRadar also notes that NFT marketplaces using DeFi models like Blur have been experiencing upward trends in Total Value Locked (TVL), which indicate the amount of all  assets deposited into a single project. 

Despite this, it appears that the user base of such platforms are quite small, as DappRadar notes that OpenSea has facilitated trades with 317,000 unique wallets last month – 227% more than the amount of wallets active on Blur in the same timeframe.

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