That was the message Bitcoin sent to the world yesterday as it seemed to finally break free from the shackles of the bear market with a price pump that seemed intent on eclipsing the Amazon chief’s recent controversial space ride.
Bitcoin and crypto markets have been severely subdued in recent months following an avalanche of negative regulatory and mining news, as well as bearish market sentiments.
Last week, the EU announced new plans to regulate crypto wallets in accordance with its anti-money laundering (AML) laws, while the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is currently updating their global guidance on how exchanges should be regulated.
With China’s crackdown on Bitcoin mining and the United States’ stricter crypto regulations under Treasury and SEC heads, Janet Yellen and Gary Gensler, the digital assets industry was clearly in desperate need of some good news to break its bear cycle and trend upward again. And once again, it was a tech giant that came to its rescue.
On Sunday, an article by a London publication City AM began making the rounds on social media in which an Amazon insider purportedly confirmed that the tech giant was planning to adopt Bitcoin for payments and release its own token later this year. As Asian markets began to open and respond to the rumors, the price of BTC shot up within three hours, between 6 PM and 9 PM Eastern Time from around $34,500 to $39,800, before retracing to $38,500, at the time of writing. This now turns the crucial 35,000 level from resistance to support.
The Impact of The B Word Conference
The latest Bitcoin spike built on the earlier bullish sentiment garnered by Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk’s appearance at The B Word conference, in which the Tesla chief confirmed that he held Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Doge. He also confirmed that Tesla would review their decision to suspend Bitcoin payments if the proof-of-work network managed to sufficiently transform its mining resources into green energy.
Amazon’s Plans for Bitcoin
On Sunday, an Amazon insider told the City AM news site that the world’s largest online retailer would be accepting BTC payments by the end of 2021 and looking at introducing its own token in 2022.
While rumors about Amazon (and Apple)’s plans to adopt Bitcoin payments have been circulating for years, and each one got debunked as fake, the latest rumor was supported by a smoking gun this time.
Amazon Job Ad and the Cryptocurrency Surge
Over the weekend, Amazon published a job advertisement for a new blockchain and cryptocurrency lead, which it has since confirmed as real and clearly signals its intent to enter the crypto space. The ad began with the following cryptic sentence:
“Do you want to innovate on behalf of customers within the payments and financial systems of one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world?”
The e-commerce giant’s ad then elaborated, saying that it was looking for:
“An experienced product leader to develop Amazon’s Digital Currency and Blockchain strategy and product roadmap….You will leverage your domain expertise in Blockchain, Distributed Ledger, Central Bank Digital Currencies and Cryptocurrency to develop the case for the capabilities which should be developed, drive the overall vision and product strategy, and gain leadership buy-in and investment for new capabilities”
Some of the role requirements were an MBA with over 10 years of experience in product management and marketing and a deep understanding of the crypto ecosystem and related technologies.
The Amazon insider went on to explain the move to City AM:
“This isn’t just going through the motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future – this is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work… It begins with Bitcoin – this is the key first stage of this crypto project, and the directive is coming from the very top… Jeff Bezos himself.”
Is The Amazon Pump Real, or A Market Manipulation?
A day in crypto is long and a week can be a lifetime. It is an industry where Bitcoin’s price constantly oscillates between extreme fear and greed, and relies on FUD and FOMO to cool off or heat up. At first glance, the latest price pump, created by Musk’s quotes of diminishing returns, seemed weak and, by some, an orchestrated attempt to change the narrative on Bitcoin back to bullish.
However, landing Amazon as a Bitcoin evangelist certainly tops the wish list of many crypto fans.
The global e-commerce giant, one of the most valuable brands in the world, is the number one online retailer in the United States, generating $386 billion in net sales last year, with the majority of revenue coming from the sales of electronics, third-party income, subscription fees (Prime), and its cloud computing arm, AWS.
It has over 300 million active subscribers worldwide, and around 150 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S., alone. Many of Amazon’s customers also shop exclusively on their platform, which means that there are many users there that the crypto industry has yet to reach.
If we look at the recent massive bull rally which saw Bitcoin jump nearly 2000% in value after its March 2020 meltdown, there were a few big events that opened the floodgates for institutional investors and mainstream giants to enter the crypto space: The OCC’s banking reforms in early 2020 where it gave U.S. banks regulatory clarity to offer crypto custodial services, and the subsequent decisions of PayPal and Tesla to support Bitcoin transactions.
Landing the patronage of Amazon though, a business behemoth that represents the absolute forefront of e-commerce in 2021 and which would obviously have done enhanced due diligence on virtual assets, would undoubtedly be crypto’s biggest scalp to date.
It would normalize and legitimize the usage of digital currencies to a point where their use cases will no longer be in question. Furthermore, the sector will be much more resilient to blatantly orchestrated FUD cycles revolving around the recycled narratives of China mining, Tether’s reserves, and the legality of leading exchanges’ operations, like Binance.
Bezos is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, especially when his exorbitant space jaunt drew complaints about its cost and environmental impact. Still, for an industry which has grown weary and distrustful of the antics of Musk, who arrived as a Messiah and turned into its biggest detractor by playing devil’s advocate on Bitcoin’s energy efficiency, and hurting the retail investor masses with his Dogecoin shills, Bezos may come to represent an unlikely savior, giving cryptocurrency markets once again the leg up that they so desperately need right now.
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