Amazon is preparing to launch digital currency projects in emerging markets
The e-commerce site’s first trial will take place in Mexico, with Brazil and India as future targets
Amazon is looking to launch a digital currency project in Mexico, with other emerging markets initiatives likely to follow later this year.
According to a report by Coindesk, Amazon has been advertising job posts for roles which will create the platform for customers to convert their digital currency into ways of paying for goods and services on the e-commerce site.
The first country where the project will be trialled looks to be Mexico, but Brazil and India are also thought to be future targets.
It appears that the digital currency offering will be tied in with Prime, Amazon’s premium offering.
Coindesk’s report had identified a series of recent job posts. “This product will enable customers to convert their cash into digital currency, with which customers can enjoy online services including shopping for goods and/or services like Prime Video,” one job post said of Amazon’s “new payment product”.
According to the job posting, Amazon’s Digital and Emerging Payments (DEP) division intends to roll-out the product in Mexico first. A second job posting cites Amazon’s search for software development engineers “at all levels” to staff up for launch. So far, there has been no specified link between the new project and “Amazon Coins”, a currency that enabled customers to use cash issued by Amazon across web games.
Since 2017, Amazon has owned four crypto-related domains – amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com and amazonbitcoin.com.
Amazon Prime has been available in Mexico since March 2017. Amazon launched its e-commerce offering in Mexico in 2015 and offers millions of items for sale across various categories such as consumer electronics, kitchen and home items. Since October 2019 customers have been able to use Amazon Prime Video Channels including HBO, Paramount+, MGM and CBeebies.
In India, Amazon faces competition from rival foreign-owned platforms.
Digital currency payments are increasingly being assimilated into the mainstream, with American electric carmaker Tesla announcing that it would accept Bitcoin as payment after Elon Musk made US $1.5bn (£1.1bn) in the digital currency in January 2021.