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Amazon NFT Initiative Coming Soon: Exclusive


blockworks.co 26 January 2023 20:55, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m

Amazon is launching a digital assets enterprise, according to four sources familiar with the matter, who said that an NFT initiative is expected in the spring.

And the publicly traded goliath is said to have a little more than a dozen crypto-native partners on deck to get things off the ground. There’s a focus on blockchain-based gaming and related NFT applications, two sources said.

One example in the works, per one source: getting Amazon customers to play crypto games and claim free NFTs in the process.

The effort is still developing, sources said. April appears to have been penciled in for the e-commerce giant to make its bold crypto ambitions public.

Amazon executives leading the push reached out to at least one family office in recent months, one of the sources said. At the time, the plan, in its earlier iteration, was to do at least one NFT drop with an artist, the same source said. Amazon’s Web3 blueprint appears to have significantly evolved since.

It wasn’t immediately clear who in terms of personnel is leading Amazon’s NFT initiative. Details about the platform, which would include certain NFT gaming initiatives, are still unfolding, but two sources said the platform is set to run out of Amazon proper, rather than its popular web-hosting platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

An additional fourth source said Amazon has been exploring a number of other Web3 initiatives of late. When it comes to both the platform and Amazon’s additional crypto forays, a number of internal hires would likely be a prerequisite, one source said.

While Amazon Web Services has posted occasional roles for developers and engineers in the Web3 realm, the e-commerce site is not as well known for exploring the crypto or blockchain arenas. An Amazon Coins program continues to exist, following an introduction in 2013, but it is more akin to a straightforward loyalty program than a crypto initiative.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon, has previously stated that he is open to the company selling NFTs — and that the company is not closing the door to cryptocurrencies generally.

Over 2.5 million users have so far interacted with OpenSea, the leading NFT marketplace today by trading volume, according to data from Dune Analytics.

AWS recently inked a partnership with Ava Labs, the company behind the Avalanche blockchain, which Emin Gün Sirer of Ava described as “a huge boon for both individual and enterprise developers to be able to spin up nodes and test networks on the fly with AWS in whatever legal jurisdiction makes the most sense for them.“

A representative for Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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