Amazon has secured three new domain names related to cryptocurrency, sparking speculation that the e-commerce giant could be preparing a move into the cryptocurrency space.
However, Amazon Pay’s VP Patrick Gauthier told CNBC last month that Amazon had no plans to accept cryptocurrency because there hasn’t been much demand yet, and Amazon may simply be protecting its brand name.
The domains are: amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com, amazoncryptocurrencies.com.
It is highly possible that Amazon (amzn, -0.19%) only registered its cryptocurrency-related domains in order to stop other people registering them in this way, which potentially infringes on the company’s trademark.
As CNBC pointed out, Amazon Pay vice president Patrick Gauthier said only last month that the company has no plans to accept payments in virtual currency, due to a lack of demand. That’s entirely plausible, especially as bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, is currently more lucrative as a speculative asset than as a tool for actually paying for stuff.
Trade publication DomainNameWire was the first to report on Amazon’s move. The report said Amazon registered for the domains on Tuesday.
The news comes as bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, smashed through a new record high price on Wednesday, reaching $6,600 for the first time, following news of CME’s plan to launch bitcoin futures later this year.