2021-07-26 08:34:14

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies surge on Amazon payments rumours

A recruitment ad by Amazon has stoked speculation the company may have a favourable view of cryptocurrencies. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and other cryptocurrencies surged higher on Monday morning, amid speculation that e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) could soon accept tokens as payment.

Bitcoin was up 12% to $38,723 (£28,169) at just after 8am on Monday morning in London. It marked the cryptocurrency’s highest price in over a month.

The rally was linked to well founded speculation that Amazon could be poised to enter the cryptocurrency area.

Bitcoin surged on Monday morning after reports suggested Amazon was close to accepting the token as payment. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK

Bitcoin surged on Monday morning after reports suggested Amazon was close to accepting the token as payment. Photo: Yahoo Finance UK

The speculation began after Amazon posted a job advert for a “Digital Currency and Blockchain Product Lead” based out of its Seattle headquarters. The job posting, which was first picked up by crypto publications last week, said the role would be based within Amazon’s Payment Acceptance & Experience Team, suggesting the company could be looking to accept cryptocurrencies in the near future.

Amazon’s job posting said the role would involve “innovat[ing] on behalf of customers within the payments and financial systems of one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world”.

Read more: Bitcoin backers cheering Amazon should be wary of Tesla-style disappointment

A spokesperson for Amazon told Yahoo Finance UK: “We’re inspired by the innovation happening in the cryptocurrency space and are exploring what this could look like on Amazon. 

“We believe the future will be built on new technologies that enable modern, fast, and inexpensive payments, and hope to bring that future to Amazon customers as soon as possible.”

Watch: What is bitcoin?

London free-sheet CityAM ran a report on Sunday quoting an unnamed Amazon source as saying the company planned to accept bitcoin by the end of the year and wanted to launch its own token by the end of 2022. The source said Amazon was also exploring accepting other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Cardano and BitcoinCash.

A spokesperson for Amazon declined to comment on the CityAM report.

Read more: Could ethereum overtake bitcoin?

Ethereum (ETH-USD) was up 8.5% to $2,364 by Monday morning, while Cardarno (ADA-USD) was 11.6% higher to $1.37. BitcoinCash (BCH-USD) was 11.8% higher at $508.

Acceptance by Amazon would be a step-change for any digital currency. Most crypto investors will struggle to find many companies that accept bitcoin and other cryptos. Amazon, sometimes dubbed the “Everything Store”, stocks hundreds of thousands of items and had revenues of $386bn last year.

“If Amazon were to move into bitcoin it would be the most significant adoption to date,” said Charles Hayter, the chief executive and founder of CryptoCompare. 

“These rumours do tend to catch the market’s hopefulness but often there is no smoke without fire and If I was Amazon I would be looking at accepting digital currencies.

“Naturally, the biggest hurdle for Amazon will be KYC [know your customer regulation] & AML [anti-money laundering], as well as FX gains/losses.”

Read more: How bad is bitcoin for the environment?

The price of bitcoin spiked earlier this year after Tesla (TSLA) boss Elon Musk said his electric vehicle maker was considering accepting the token as payment. Musk later backtracked on the commitment due to climate concerns, contributing to a sharp sell-off of bitcoin.

Dogecoin (DOGE-USD), a Musk favourite, was on the march on Monday morning. The token, which was originally created as a joke, was 10% higher to $0.22. Dogecoin was buoyed by a tweet from Musk on Sunday night suggesting the token was legitimate money.

Watch: What are the risks of investing in cryptocurrency?

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