Amazon is set to enter the world of NFT assets with an enterprise initiative, according to Blockwork’s sources with direct knowledge of the situation. The company’s NFT marketplace is expected to launch in the spring of 2023.
According to a number of sources, Amazon has been shopping its digital collectibles initiative to numerous industry heavyweights. Cryptocurrency exchanges, blockchain-based gaming companies, developers, and layer-1 blockchains are cited as potential partners. Gaming and NFT-related applications are among the priorities, sources indicated.
According to one insider, a potential project is enabling Amazon clients to participate in cryptocurrency games and earn free NFTs along the way.
According to unconfirmed rumors, the endeavor is still in its early stages. The e-commerce corporation appears to have set April as the month for announcing its ambitious crypto plans.
The entry of Amazon into crypto could be a game changer for a variety of reasons, says one source.
“We knew it was possible,” explained the insider. “But now it seems like it’s really happening. That’s going to affect the existing players in the space — if they execute and do this right and are smart about it.”
Executives leading Amazon’s push contacted at least one family office in recent months, according to one source. It was initially planned to do at least one NFT drop in collaboration with an artist. As of now, Amazon’s Web3 program looks to have expanded significantly since that time.
It was not immediately obvious who will be in charge of Amazon’s NFT program. Details regarding the platform, which would incorporate specific NFT gaming efforts, are still being developed, but according to multiple sources, the platform will be administered by Amazon itself rather than the company’s well-known cloud platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
According to a fifth insider, Amazon has recently examined a variety of different Web3 projects. Several sources indicate that hiring a number of internal employees would be necessary for both Amazon’s platform and its other crypto initiatives.
While AWS has occasionally offered jobs for Web3 developers and engineers, the company is less well-known for researching the blockchain or crypto industries. Since its creation in 2013, the Amazon Coins initiative is still in operation, but it is more similar to a plain loyalty program than a cryptocurrency project.
Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy stated in the past that he supports selling NFTs – and that Amazon is open to crypto initiatives in general.
The exact scope of Amazon’s Web3 aims and ultimate goals is still unknown. There is no indication whether the tech giant plans to compete with OpenSea and Rarible, but two insiders believe such a launch would pose a serious challenge to both platforms.
“With the number of customers Amazon has, they could make a huge splash in the NFT marketplace,” said an industry insider.
OpenSea has so far attracted over 2.5 million users, ranking it as the top NFT marketplace based on volume, Dune Analytics data indicates. Today, several well-established marketplaces exist for buying and selling NFTs.
Recently, Amazon Web Services partnered with Ava Labs, which developed the Avalanche blockchain. Emin Gün Sirer of Ava said the partnership is “a huge boon for both individual and enterprise developers.”