Last Tuesday, trade publication DomainNameWire reported that the global tech giant had bought and secured three new domain names with relation to crptos: amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com. These domains became the second, third, and fourth Amazon owned crypto-related domains, trailing their initial pickup of amazonbitcoin.com, which according to Coindesk was bought by Amazon three years ago and now automatically forwards to Amazon’s homepage.
So why would Amazon buy three more domains, three years later? Clearly, buzz around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has skyrocketed in the past three years, but nonetheless it is very difficult to determine what such a large company like Amazon’s intentions are in purchasing these domains now.
In my opinion, this move could either be passive and preventative or it could be extremely aggressive. Given that the buzz around cryptos has gotten so huge in the past year to six months, and Amazon is such a huge company in itself, it does make some sense that the company would simply want to buy these domains as to avoid having to pay off some lucky domain picker in the future. But this assumes that Amazon just bought these should they find a need for them down the road; an assumption, that given Amazon’s disruptive track record, doesn’t seem too likely. Additionally, I would say that this theory makes the most sense if any for the amazonbitcoin.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, and amazoncryptocurrencies.com domains. The reason for this is that these three domain names are somewhat generic; so even if there are no direct plans now, having these domains down the road still seems useful.
However, for me, the most mysterious acquisition comes in the purchase of amazonethereum.com. Sure, people could associate Amazon, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency together without too many questions asked, but Ethereum opens up an entirely different world of opportunity. This is because Ehterium, the second largest crypto-currency behind Bitcoin, has more uses that being a simple form of currency. Thus, I wonder if this domain acquisition means that Amazon believes that some of Ethereum’s other use cases (smart contracts in particular) could be useful to them as well…
Furthermore, Joseph Lubin, one of Ethereum’s co-founders, said just last week that [Ethereum’s] tools could be used to build a decentralized competitor to Amazon, made up of “many different actors with different roles.” Therefore, this also makes me wonder if Amazon is attempting to partner with what could become competition, or even more exciting, preparing to build something new on top of it. Either way, I think that news of Amazon buying a domain with ‘Ethereum’ in it is good news for Vitalik and his fleet of blockchain warriors because it means that in the eyes of Bezos, they are not going anywhere anytime soon.