Amazon.com (AMZN) has made a name for itself in part by its ventures into cutting-edge technology and product offerings. The company has flirted with delivery by drone, expanded into media content generation with its own line-up of television shows, and much more. With each step, the company has gained a wider following and a greater dominance over a larger and larger space; it has moved far beyond the e-commerce outfit it began life as. Now, some analysts are speculating that Amazon may be looking to get into the burgeoning cryptocurrency space, as the company has reportedly bought up a number of cryptocurrency-related domain names.
Although spokespeople for the company have been tight-lipped, this is not the first time that Amazon's actions have led some customers and investors to speculate that the company is preparing a cryptocurrency launch. The tech giant previously bought up domain names like amazonbitcoin.com, although that website has never been active. Then, according to multiple news reports, in mid-November, Amazon bought up a series of new domain names as well. Suddenly, speculation began all over. The new URL purchases are amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com.
What could this all mean? The fact that the company has mentioned two of the leading digital currencies (bitcoin and ethereum) in the domain names could mean that it is considering introducing some type of link to those currencies. One potential offering would be payment services utilizing one or both of the currencies.
Another possible reason for Amazon's recent spate of domain purchases is simple brand protection. The company can absolutely afford to collect a large variety of website addresses, potentially for the sole purpose of ensuring that those sites don't end up in the hand of someone else. These sites could dilute Amazon's brand if they are used in a way that is unaffiliated with the company. In this scenario, it's likely that Amazon's purchase of these domain names does not suggest any immediate plans to launch a cryptocurrency or specific cryptocurrency-related products.
On the other hand, there is also the possibility that Amazon is looking to launch a new currency of its own. It would certainly not be the first mainstream company to do so. If it does launch its own cryptocurrency, there's a strong argument to be made that Amazon's size and brand power would provide a tremendous boost to that currency upon launch. On the other hand, if a company as prominent as Amazon creates a cryptocurrency, it may only be a matter of time before other major companies follow suit, potentially oversaturating the market and investor interest. Only time will tell what, if anything, those domain names will be used for.