Forget Bitcoin. The next big digital currency vying for your attention could come from Amazon, at least going by a suite of new job listings.
Coindesk (opens in new tab) reported that Amazon is on the hunt for talent to help launch a “digital currency” project in Mexico. It would appear that the company could be working on a form of digital money to pay for its services, as well as products in its online store. (Don't believe this scam that offer pre-sales of the Amazon coin, though.)
- The best personal finance software
- How to use Venmo: everything you need to know
- Plus: Meet the strangest foldable phone design yet
Two job postings were flagged, but appear to have now been removed. They discussed creating a form of digital currency under Amazon’s Digital and Emerging Payment division in a project based in Mexico.
“This product will enable customers to convert their cash in to digital currency," Amazon’s first job posting reportedly said. "which customers can enjoy [using with] online services including shopping for goods and/or services like Prime Video."
For that we can posit that Amazon could be working on a digital currency that could be launched in Mexico, possibly using the country as a testbed before rolling it out further. Amazon already has its “Amazon Coins” virtual currency, which allows people to use the digital money to pay for Amazon products or items in web games.
How a new Amazon-made digital currency will stand apart from Amazon Coins is unclear. Nor can we tell if it will be some form of blockchain-based cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It’s trivially simple to buy products on Amazon, as well as sign up to the company’s myriad of services. So why Amazon would go to the effort to create its own digital currency is unclear.
Perhaps such money could be used for people to buy products from abroad without worrying about exchanging currencies and forking out commission charges for such things. Or it could be an easy way to send money abroad for others to then buy specific items from Amazon’s online store.
Amazon hasn't shed any light on its digital currency efforts, but such job postings are indicative of the company working on something. However, some of these projects can wither on the vine; when you have as much money as Amazon you can afford to take such risks.
With Apple potentially getting into cars, Amazon exploring digital money, and Elon Musk’s Starlink internet up for pre-order, 2021 looks to be the year of big tech firms and luminaries dipping their toes in other industries.
- More: Best Presidents' Day sales 2021: deals at Lowe's, Best Buy and more