A rumor has been circulating that claims Amazon will decide to accept bitcoin within the near future, potentially as early as October. Unfortunately, this rumor is based on a misleading blog post and is almost certainly false.
The Rumor: Amazon Will Accept Bitcoin
The report, which was first published by conservative news blog Squawker Media, cites a newsletter purportedly written by entrepreneur and stock researcher James Altucher.
In the newsletter, the author claims complete assurance that Amazon will begin accepting bitcoin payments, initiating a massive disruption in the monetary sector:
I am certain that Amazon WILL ACCEPT Bitcoin. They have no choice. And this will be the tipping point that will create massive generational wealth unlike we’ve ever seen before.
Once this happens, “we’ll see a buying frenzy like never before,” the newsletter continues. “It’ll be like a Black Friday crowd at best buy.”
Moreover, the author speculates that Amazon could make the announcement as early as October 26, which is the date of its next earnings call.
The Facts: This Rumor is the Result of Poor Journalism
However, as CCN has discovered, Squawker misrepresents the source of their article. If the language quoted above sounds like an advertisement, that’s because it is. In fact, the source is actually an advertisement for a subscription to Altucher’s newsletter and cryptocurrency “masterclass.”
To pass it off as a newsletter, the advertisement was selectively cropped to remove any mention of what Altucher is trying to sell. Here is a link to what appears to be the full advertisement.
When viewed in context, it is clear that Altucher is making a hard sell. He states that he is certain Amazon will accept bitcoin--which very well may be true. However, he does not offer evidence to this effect--other than the trajectory of the crypto markets, nor does he give a specific timetable for Amazon to make the announcement. He states that the company could make the announcement during their October earnings call, but he does not say they will. Most likely, October 26 was just chosen as an arbitrary deadline to give consumers a sense of urgency to obtain their "free cryptocurrency package...and no-risk subscription trial subscription" to Altucher's newsletter.
Squawker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Reality: Amazon Probably Won’t Accept Bitcoin Anytime Soon
Amazon has long been considered the "white whale" of bitcoin acceptance. As one of the world's foremost retailers, their decision to accept bitcoin would provide bitcoin with a tremendous credibility boost and would likely increase the rate of mainstream cryptocurrency adoption.
However, Amazon has made no public statements suggesting they will implement bitcoin payments, and frankly there is currently little incentive for them to do so. The company is so ubiquitous that is unlikely they would see a noticeable increase in sales. Amazon's valuation is nearly four times the size of the combined market caps of all cryptocurrencies, and despite the bitcoin price's year-to-date surge, its market cap is still more than $15 billion less than the net worth of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Those who are long on bitcoin expect that retail giants such as Amazon will eventually join forward-thinking companies such as Overstock in accepting cryptocurrency payments, but investors should remain skeptical of unverified reports that this will occur in the near future--especially when the person making the claim is trying to sell you something.