On Friday afternoon, Nikhilesh De, CoinDesk's managing editor for global policy and regulation, received an email from an official Amazon account appearing to confirm the existence of digital tokens and a gallery on the e-commerce platform.
The email was sent to De as a confirmation after a Amazon Prime Video channel subscription was renewed automatically. De had not purchased a non-fungible token (NFT) from Amazon and did not have any prior knowledge of the platform's integration of NFTs.
The email provides new insights into Amazon's plans for Web3 expansion and hints at where these new tools might live on the platform.
Rumors have been swirling for weeks that Amazon is planning to release its own NFT marketplace soon, though Amazon has not yet commented publicly on the reports.
Crypto news site Blockworks first touted the idea in January, citing anonymous sources. According to the report, the new "digital assets enterprise" would focus on "blockchain-based gaming and related NFT applications." Crypto site The Big Whale then followed up with a report earlier this month giving the feature a launch date of April 24. The story, which also cited anonymous sources, said the NFT platform will be available on the site through a tab that says "Amazon Digital Marketplace."
In January, Amazon's cloud-computing platform Amazon Web Services announced it will work with Ava Labs to expand its enterprise blockchain offerings, though there was no mention of plans for NFTs or a digital collectibles marketplace.
According to the email sent to De, a digital token was deposited into a gallery hosted on the official Amazon website. However, it appears that the link provided in the email does not yet work.
The email also mentions resale opportunities, noting that the NFT would not be eligible for resale "until it's unlocked." The email also said De would need to "register as a reseller" before listing the NFT. But the link provided to the resale page also appeared to be broken.
De was not able to access the digital tokens. It's unclear how NFTs are connected to this subscription renewal, though both the email and the transaction confirmation were received around the same time.
A representative for Amazon did not immediately respond to CoinDesk for comment.
Amazon's embrace of NFTs could be a huge step toward mass adoption of Web3 for its millions of global users. Amazon CEO Andy Jassey has expressed an openness to blockchain technology, telling CNBC in April 2022 that he expects that NFTs "will continue to grow very significantly" and said crypto integration might be "possible down the road."
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