Is Amazon Really Pursuing Cryptocurrency? Or Is It a Conspiracy Theory?

In July 2021, Amazon posted a job listing for a “digital currency and blockchain product lead,” and Bitcoin and Ether prices both increased by more than 10% a few days later. The jump has been attributed to the tech giant’s potential involvement in digital currency, which many have been waiting for. Back in 2019, Amazon purchased cryptocurrency-related domain names, including amazonbitcoin, amazonethereum, and amazoncryptocurrency; however, none of these are currently active. Shortly after the job opening was posted, an anonymous source shared that the company was preparing to roll out a large-scale cryptocurrency payments project this year and that it was also developing its own token. These rumors were denied by Amazon.

Amid all this speculation, what do the patents say? According to Patent Forecast®, Amazon has not been very active in Cryptocurrency patenting. Its most recent publicly available filings are from 2018. The job listing does imply that Amazon is working on cryptocurrency, but the patent data suggests that any new technology is still in early development stages. It’s possible that Amazon has been filing with Non-Publication Requests, which it has done in the past for earlier blockchain patents. However, the company is sacrificing international coverage by doing so. Another possibility is acquisition, which would be nothing new for Amazon. Strike Protocols has 20 patent assets for payment architecture and may be a good target. 

Another online marketplace that has been investing in cryptocurrency and blockchain is eBay, which owns PayPal. While PayPal has been active in cryptocurrency on its own, eBay is also patenting across a variety of blockchain technologies for data management. Will eBay be able to pull ahead with its portfolio? Or does Amazon have something up its sleeve? Find out what these companies are doing early with the Cryptocurrency Patent Forecast®.