Amazon NFTs Will Be Tied to Real-world Assets, Token Possible

Amazon marketplace will tie digital ownership to physical goods delivered to customers’ doors

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Sundry Photography/Shutterstock.com modified by Blockworks

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Amazon is laying the groundwork to give its customers the ability to purchase NFTs tied to real-world assets that are delivered to their doorstep, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The move is a significant upgrade from the e-commerce giant’s earlier steps in developing its NFT platform, a move previously reported by Blockworks. And the company is planning to notify every Amazon Prime customer — at least in the US — of its digital collectibles initiative once it goes live, an additional two sources said. 

Amazon shoppers, for instance, would be able to purchase a fashion-oriented NFT tied to a pair of jeans — and pay with a credit card, sources said, just as they would with any other Amazon purchase. 

The timing of the massive enterprise’s launch still appears to be in flux, although The Big Whale today reported a date of April 24. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment. Two sources said a launch would come by this May at the latest. 

One mechanism Amazon is considering for spreading the word about its digital collectibles push is sending out an email blast to every US-based Prime subscriber, one source said. An additional two sources said the company is planning to notify its Prime customers in some capacity — either before or when the product goes live.

“They can onboard millions of users without educating people about self-custody, without educating people how to [set up] a MetaMask wallet,” one source said, likening Amazon’s move to Starbucks loyalty program with Polygon. Amazon currently has approximately 167 million Prime members in the USA.

The back end blockchain technology isn’t clear, and the company appears to have considered a number of different options for integration since it began working on the ambitious initiative. 

Representatives for Amazon working on the project have contacted layer-1 blockchains, blockchain gaming companies and other types of both emerging and established digital asset projects. The company has either hired or is looking to hire or partner with dozens of Web3 oriented developers. 

Amazon’s intention is to create some type of private blockchain, multiple sources said — adding that it’s not clear whether that could come about via a fork of an existing protocol. Several sources said it’s also not definitive, to their knowledge as of publication, whether an Amazon token would be part of the deal, with one of them dubbing the setup as a “very walled garden.” 


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