Retail juggernaut Amazon is reportedly developing an NFT platform that will allow customers to purchase non-fungible tokens tied to real-world assets that are delivered to their doorstep, with a view to launch this spring. The reportedly robust Amazon NFT platform offering is a significant upgrade from the e-commerce giant’s earlier steps in the space, and the company is planning to notify every Amazon Prime customer in the US of its digital collectibles initiative once it goes live.
NFTs You Can “Wear”
One way that Amazon shoppers would be able to purchase tokens would be, for example, a fashion-oriented NFT tied to a pair of jeans and pay with a credit card just as they would with any other Amazon purchase, eliminating a technical barrier that may be otherwise cumbersome to shoppers.
However, they aren’t creating a new path in the physical goods mixed with digital collectable space. Over the past few years, several luxury brands have already innovating in the space. In November 2020, the French fashion house Louis Vuitton partnered with artist Beeple to release a limited edition NFT collaboration, which sold for $26 million at auction. Gucci launched a series of NFTs in partnership with Arianee in April 2021, featuring virtual sneakers that were linked to physical product, while Burberry created a series of NFTs in partnership with Mythical Games in August 2021, featuring digital versions of its iconic trench coat.
Nike has also been a leader in connecting NFTs with their physical products. In 2021, the company acquired virtual assets firm RTFKT, which was later incorporated into the “Nike Virtual Studio” to launch a collection of Nike-branded NFTs. One of these is the Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks NFT range, which is associated with the retailer’s real-world Dunk sneakers.
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are a type of digital asset that represent ownership or proof of authenticity of a unique piece of content, such as art, music, videos, or other digital media. Unlike fungible assets, like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are not interchangeable with each other because they are unique and one-of-a-kind. They are typically created on blockchain networks, which provide a decentralized, transparent, and secure way of verifying the ownership and provenance of NFTs. NFTs have gained popularity in recent years as a new form of digital art, collectibles, and investments, with some NFTs selling for millions of dollars in online marketplaces.
The Amazon NFT platform: Ready by next month?
The timing of the Amazon platform launch is still uncertain. In January, Blockworks reported that Amazon had began work on a digital assets enterprise involving NFTs. The report was based on information from four sources, who claimed that the Amazon NFT initiative was expected to be launched globally in the spring. Around the same time, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a partnership with web3 firm Ava Labs, aimed at speeding up the adoption of blockchain technology. Yesterday, new sources suggest the launch could happen as early as April 24 according to The Big Whale.
The company, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, intends to create a private blockchain for the Amazon NFT platform, and has contacted layer-1 blockchains, blockchain gaming companies, and other types of both emerging and established digital asset projects and is staffing up its web3 dev team.
One source suggests that Amazon’s move could be similar to Starbucks’ loyalty program with Polygon, onboarding millions of users without educating people about self-custody or MetaMask wallets. It’s also not definitive whether an Amazon token would be part of the deal, and sources have dubbed the setup as a “very walled garden.”