Vitalik Buterin @VitalikButerin — also known as the “young genius” of cryptocurrency, as he is way beyond his years sitting in his early 20's. Buterin is the co-founder of decentralized cryptocurrency platform Ethereum. He’s a dual citizen and identifies as both Canadian and Russian. Honoured by Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017 he is definitely a twitter account you need to be following. In January of 2017, Buterin had about 40,000 Twitter followers. Today, his following is over 520,000.
Charlie Lee@satoshilite — Lee is the creator of Litecoin and was well known as the director of engineering at Coinbase for quite some time. Lee keeps his twitter account active, engaging with followers and staying on top of the hive. He, too, has seen a massive follower growth in 2017 — from under 30K earlier this year to about 558,000 at latest check. He made headlines back in December for announcing he sold and donated his Litecoin stake to avoid conflicts of interest while overseeing the cryptocurrency’s growth.
Roger Ver@rogerkver — an American that resides in Japan, Ver is an early investor in bitcoin projects. He has been a prominent supporter of bitcoin adoption and sees bitcoin as a means to promote economical independence. He now promotes Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of the cryptocurrency created with the intent to fix issues such as high fees and long transaction confirmation times.
Gavin Andresen@gavinandresen — Andresen was one of the lead developers on Bitcoin Core, the original open source software created by Satoshi Nakamoto, and is said to have directly taken over the code maintenance from Nakamoto. In 2012 he founded the Bitcoin Foundation to support and nurture the development of the bitcoin currency, and by 2014 left his software development role to concentrate on his work with the Foundation.
Spencer Bogart aka @CremeDeLaCrypto —Bogart was one of the first Wall Street analysts to switch attention from the stock market to cryptocurrencies. He is currently a partner for an investment fund called Blockchain Capital.
Amazon and Cryptocurrency, two of the most colossal words in print media today. There’s been rumours of Amazon getting ready to launch a currency exchange. At the very least, Amazon has definitely positioned itself for this outcome by purchasing domain names like amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com.
DomainNameWire spread belief that Amazon was getting their ducks in a row regarding an exchange when the above domains were purchased by Amazon in November. With Amazon being known for its innovation, it would be more than likely that these assumptions are correct. Or would it?
Amazon reached over 177 billion USD in sales for 2017, it deals with 50% of North American online purchases and operates on a comprehensive scale. But despite offering a large variety of payment options, Amazon has yet to allow people to pay with bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. As the leader in online retail, it’s in a prime position to do so. Any cryptocurrency Amazon adopted would surely see a huge surge of support.
This might seem like a no-brainer without diving into the details. But in this case, the details make all the difference. The CEO of Amazon made a public statement addressing the future of Amazon and blockchain. Stating that the decision to not pursue that blockchain technology integration was a deliberate one. Amazon has decided, for the time being, to step back, where other organizations have progressed full force into blockchain development. The CEO continued to state that Amazon will continue to move forward in the tech world, just not on the blockchain platform.
I reiterate, the details make all the difference. Why would a multi-billion dollar company that runs entirely on technology be hesitant to embrace blockchain? Well, here are some possible reasons.
Bitcoins transaction speed last year was 7 transactions per second, where-as Amazons transactions per second reached 600 during one of their biggest sales. If even a small amount of their trafficking customers paid with cryptocurrency, customers would be waiting for hours for the sale/transaction to go through. This doesn’t exactly scream good customer service.
Amazon Customers Aren’t Backing Crypto…Yet
Tom Taylor, head of Amazon sales told Re/Code that they have considered integrating, but the demand from Amazon customers just aren’t there. As one of Amazons core principles being ‘Customer Obsession,’ the company rarely makes moves without their following requesting them to do so.
“We have considered it,” said Tom Taylor, “but we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them, and don’t have any plans within Amazon to engage Bitcoin.”
This is a pretty big one for large corporations such as Amazon. Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies haven't had the best luck regarding security within the last few years. Any large corporation accepting cryptocurrency would be susceptible to a large amount of risk if the only way a transaction was verified would be by “the community at large.” This might be the exact thing Blockchain stands for, but it doesn’t mean large corporations are ready for it.
Cryptocurrency has yet to be recognized as a legitimate replacement for fiat, which causes uncertainty in its nature. To add to the legitimacy problem, the IRS is claiming tax on capital gains regarding every payment made within the United States border.
Amazon is a company that is tight lipped about how many Kindles they retail, so it’s not a surprise that for now they also seem to be secretive about their plans in the crypto realm. But whatever capacity Amazon chooses to get involved in with Blockchain could become a household name overnight.