Amazon.com Inc. is reportedly planning a non-fungible token initiative in the second quarter that could involve customers playing games to earn tokens.
Blockworks, citing four sources familiar with the matter, claims that Amazon has been shopping its digital assets enterprise to power players in the industry, including layer-1 blockchains, blockchain-based gaming startups and developers and digital asset exchanges. The pitches have been said to have revolved around blockchain-based gaming and related NFT applications.
The report notes that while it is not immediately clear who is leading Amazon’s NFT initiative, it’s believed that the platform will be run by Amazon proper, not Amazon Web Services Inc. Presuming the service does not reside with AWS and has a focus on gaming, possibilities include a new standalone service or integration into existing Amazon properties such as its Appstore or Prime Gaming.
The idea that Amazon could enter the NFT marketplace does not come as a complete surprise, with Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy saying in an interview with CNBC’s Squawkbox in April that he could see NFTs in the company’s future.
“I expect that NFTs will continue to grow very significantly. We’re probably not close to adding crypto as a payment mechanism in our retail business, but I do believe over time that you’ll see crypto become bigger,” Jassy said at the time. When asked if he could see Amazon selling NFTs, Jessy responded, “yeah, I think it’s down the road.”
The timing of Amazon’s alleged NFT plans comes as the NFT market has suffered alongside broader drama in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, including the collapse of FTX Trading Ltd. in November. NFT sales in December were down 80% over the previous December and as recently as Jan. 5, the NFT market was described as “imploding.”
While Amazon may be new to NFTs, it’s certainly not new to blockchain technology. Blockchain startup Ava Labs Inc. announced on Jan. 11 that it had teamed with AWS to accelerate enterprise, institutional and government adoption of blockchain.
Under the partnership, AWS will support Ava’s Avalanche infrastructure and decentralized application ecosystem, including one-click node deployment through the AWS Marketplace. Avalanche node operators can also run AWS GovCloud for FedRAMP compliance use cases.
AWS opened its first managed blockchain service to the public in April 2019.
Photo: Dronepicr/Wikimedia Commons
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