Amazon could launch an NFT marketplace as soon as April, according to sources
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(Kitco News) - Rumors that Amazon is planning on launching its own non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces have received additional confirmation based on a Friday email received by Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation, which appears to confirm the existence of digital tokens and a gallery on the e-commerce platform.
According to a report from CoinDesk, De received a confirmation email after an Amazon Prime Video channel subscription was automatically renewed.
“Good news! Your order has been completed and your digital token is now in your gallery,” the email said. “Keep in mind, you won’t be able to re-sell it until it's unlocked. If your item isn’t unlocked within 72 hours, please contact Customer Support. You’ll also need to register as a reseller before listing an NFT for sale.”
This simple email is packed full of details, including the fact that Amazon will be supporting NFT technology, has a dedicated support team to help answer any questions, and will be allowing users to sign up as NFT creators and re-sellers.
CoinDesk reported that De had not purchased any NFTs from Amazon and did not have any prior knowledge of the platform’s plans to integrate NFTs, so it's a mystery as to why he received this email in the first place.
So far, De has not been able to access the digital tokens, and the links provided in the email appear to be broken. It's unclear how NFTs are connected to this subscription renewal, though both the email and a transaction confirmation were received around the same time.
Amazon has yet to respond to any inquiries about the email.
Rumors about the e-commerce retailer’s NFT plans first emerged in late January when reports started circulating that it was developing an NFT platform in stealth mode and could launch it as early as spring 2023.
Amazon was said to be pitching its new digital collectibles platform to various players in the crypto ecosystem, including layer-1 blockchains, blockchain-based gaming startups, developers and digital asset exchanges by a source familiar with the matter.
The main focus of the new offering will reportedly be on blockchain-based gaming and related NFT applications, including one application that is specifically designed to entice Amazon customers to play crypto games and claim free NFTs in the process.
One source believes that Amazon will make an official announcement about the platform in April, but so far, it has remained tight-lipped about its plans. According to a report from Web3 media company The Big Whale, the new platform has been dubbed “Amazon Digital Marketplace” and will be available for U.S. citizens to access beginning on April 24.
The Big Whale said that Amazon planned to launch the digital marketplace sooner, but those plans were delayed by the collapse of FTX and subsequent ecosystem-wide fallout. After the platform is opened to users in the U.S., access will gradually be opened to the rest of the world.
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The retail giant has been wading deeper into the cryptocurrency ecosystem over the past year.
Last April, Amazon CEO Andy Jassey signaled that the company was exploring the integration of NFTs during an interview with CNBC, saying, “I expect that NFTs will continue to grow very significantly. We're not probably close to adding crypto as a payment mechanism in our retail business. But I do believe over time you'll see crypto become [an option] ... it's possible down the road.”
In September, the European Central Bank selected Amazon as one of five technology partners to help it develop a digital euro prototype, with Amazon handling the development of e-commerce payments within the project.
And in January, Amazon Web Services (AWS) partnered with Ava Labs, the development company behind the layer-1 blockchain platform Avalanche (AVAX), with the goal of scaling blockchain adoption for enterprises, institutions and governments. Ava Labs also became a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN), which enables the firm to “help customers deploy custom offerings on AWS that are connected to more than 100,000 partners across more than 150 countries.”