Is Amazon Joining the NFT Arena? What We Know About the Rumored Digital Marketplace!
Rumors from multiple sources talk about an upcoming “Amazon Digital Marketplace”. What stands behind these rumors and how could this bold move affect the Web3 environment?
During the last few months, various rumors about a mysterious NFT project from Amazon started to emerge. Today we know closer that sometime during June 2023 Amazon should supposedly be launching its own NFT marketplace called the “Amazon digital marketplace”. This project means a lot for the emerging Web3 space as it could contribute to mass user acquisition. It will, however, come with a few setbacks - more on that later.
- Rumors suggest Amazon is developing a beginner-friendly NFT marketplace with a private blockchain, fiat payment options, and Amazon accounts as wallets.
- The private blockchain approach could potentially lead to transferability and centralization issues with NFTs.
- Amazon's marketplace is expected to link NFTs to physical products and various media types, like ebooks, movies, exclusive music drops, and so on
- The platform is rumored to launch during June 2023, initially in the US, featuring Amazon's own NFT collections.
It is important to point out that no information is yet 100% confirmed by Amazon and all we will be discussing today is a speculation based on multiple sources.
Focusing on Beginners in the Field
One of the primary goals of Amazon's rumored NFT marketplace appears to be simplifying the process for users, especially those new to the world of NFTs and blockchain. The marketplace is reportedly designed to be user-friendly, enabling individuals to buy and sell NFTs without even having to own a wallet.
Instead, an Amazon account will act as a wallet, making the whole process more accessible to beginners. The acquisition of new users into the Web3 environment seems to be a priority, rather than targeting experienced collectors. Furthermore, NFT checkout will include familiar fiat payment options such as credit cards, reducing the barriers to entry.
NFT Marketplace without Crypto?
Amazon is supposedly taking the user-accessibility action so far that they may completely remove cryptocurrencies from the equation. In this case, payment options would be reduced only to fiat with all the blockchain processes happening in the background.
While this step certainly will attract a lot of new users into the field, it kind of devaluates the whole point of Web3.
Amazon Private Blockchain
Amazon's approach to NFTs is reportedly going to be quite unique. They're launching a private, gas-less, read-only blockchain for the marketplace, which will likely reduce some of the usual constraints and costs associated with blockchain transactions. However, there will surely be restrictions for users, which are not yet fully understood.
The creation of a private blockchain indicates that Amazon is aiming to control the environment in which these NFTs exist. The benefits of this approach could include lower transaction costs and a more streamlined user experience. However, a private blockchain might raise questions about decentralization and ownership, two aspects that have been integral to the philosophy of NFTs and blockchain technology.
Problems with Transferability
A key question surrounding Amazon's private blockchain is whether other chains will be added to ensure the transferability of NFTs. Given the nature of NFTs, the ability to transfer ownership across different platforms is a crucial feature. Without cross-chain compatibility, users could face limitations in how they use and trade their NFTs.
Amazon appears to be looking beyond just images for their NFT marketplace. There's talk of linking NFTs with physical products and expanding NFTs on ebooks, movies, TV shows, and more.
This could potentially revolutionize the way we interact with various forms of media and merchandise, providing a unique blend of digital and physical ownership.
Launch Date Speculations and Availability
According to rumors, the launch of Amazon's NFT marketplace was originally scheduled for the end of 2022, but the development got delayed thanks to the FTX collapse and overall bearish market state. More recent reports suggest the launch will be taking place in June this year.
Initially, the platform will only be available for US customers, but an expansion is likely in the future. Amazon is also reportedly planning to launch its own 15 NFT collections to populate the marketplace, in collaboration with popular NFT collections, tech companies, and fashion brands.
Impact on the Web3 Environment
Amazon is the world's largest retailer with over 300 million active users. This kind of market expansion could bring an unprecedented amount of new people into Web3 and potentially get them interested in other services. It definitely will be a big step forward in the Web3 adoption and popularization journey.
Drawbacks and Criticism
As mentioned above, this approach of Amazon to Web3 is kind of bittersweet. On one side great for mass adoption and on the other goes pretty much against the ideas and philosophy of Web3.
- Private permissioned blockchain - the very idea of using a blockchain came from the need for decentralization and self-custody. There is no need to use a blockchain in private settings.
- The use of fiat currencies for payments - NFTs price discovery is tied to native on-chain assets (ETH). Amazon's digital assets may as well not be classified as NFTs at all.
- Non-transferability of NFTs - limits interoperability potential with other projects, limits NFT use-cases to a closed ecosystem.
The whole Amazon Digital Marketplace seems not so much as a Web3 project, but rather a Web2.5 marketing decision. Decentralized solutions are getting a lot of traction recently and big brands naturally want part of the traffic for themselves. In the end, however, Web2.5 may act as a bridge for mass user acquisition into more advanced solutions.