A little bit lost among the recent headlines of multi million dollar venture capital deals and bitcoin price action, was a very interesting technical based piece involving Amazon paving the way to accept peer to peer crypto currency (Bitcoin) payments.
Amazon (publicly) have not yet embraced Bitcoin as a payment option, so don’t expect to be buying your Kindle on Amazon anytime soon via your BTC wallet. Recently in a published article, Tom Taylor Amazon Head of Payments stated;
Obviously, it (Bitcoin) gets a lot of press and we have considered it, but we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them, and don’t have any plans within Amazon to engage bitcoin.
Contrast that comment with John Donahoe CEO of EBAY;
Exactly how that plays out (Bitcoin), and how we can best take advantage of it and enable it with PayPal, that’s something we’re actively considering. It’s on our radar screen.
So why would Amazon (who don’t have any plans for Bitcoin) have explicit reference to Bitcoin in a payment system patent?
The patent itself USPTO patent number 8,719,131 describes the “Allocating of financial risk and reward in a multi-tenant environment ” it was actually filed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) the largest remote computing service player globally. The patent applies to the procurement of cloud services via multiple streams including crypto. To quote further from the patent “Various types of digital cash, electronic money, or crypto-currency can be used, such as Bitcoins provided by the Bitcoin P2P Currency System…Requests received with digital cash …can be completely anonymous donations.”
So, Amazon who have publicly stated they have “no plans” are actively preparing for Bitcoin in one of their business units, whilst EBAY who have it “on our radar” seem only to talk about it when prompted.
Actions it seems speak louder than words, perhaps in the near future the granting of this patent may turn out to be a significant development in the broader merchant adoption of Bitcoin.
If you want to delve into the patent details have a look at the US patent Office filing.