Amazon already owns the cryptocurrency-related domain name amazonbitcoin.com, and it’s just bought three new ones: amazonethereum.com, amazoncyptocurrency.com and amazoncryptocurrencies.com
But the e-commerce and technology giant isn’t going to start accepting cryptocurrencies for payments on its Amazon Pay service, according to Amazon Pay VP Patrick Gauthier last month in an interview with CNBC. There doesn’t seem to be much demand for it just yet, so the most likely explanation is that Amazon is simply protecting its branding online. But it could also indicate a future interest in the concept of cryptocurrency, which is rapidly gaining popularity of late.
In the past, Amazon has gone on several domain name buying sprees. In 2011, when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) started giving companies the option to establish their own Generic Top Level Domain or gTDL names, Amazon applied for a whopping 76 of them, which include .app, .cloud, .free, .game, .Kindle, .search and .Zappos. The interesting part is that each new gTLD cost an eye-popping $185,000, which means Amazon would potentially have had to fork over about $14 million for those gTLDs.
Then, again, in 2014, when an auction came up for the .Buy gTLD, Amazon beat Google with a whopping bid of $4.6 million.
In 2015, we were clued in on Amazon’s intent in the Internet of Things space. They registered domains like amazoninternetofthings.com, amazoniotplatform.com, awsinternetofthings.com, awsiotplatform.com and awsiotservice.com. Around that time, a domain called “Snowball” was registered by Amazon. It wasn’t known then, but Amazon later revealed a storage device for cloud migration called Amazon Snowball.
As such, domain name registrations by large companies is probably a good thing to keep an eye on, especially if you’re an investor in the company. Who knows, it could be a crystal ball that lets you gaze into the future plans of the company, as in the case of Snowball.
On the other hand, Amazon registering domain names like amazonsucks.com or amazonstinks.com might not be the kind of crystal ball you’re looking for.
Whatever the case, Amazon is spending millions of dollars on registering domain names that it either wants to use, or doesn’t want anyone else to use. That could well be the case with the recent cryptocurrency domain name purchases, but it’s possible that it’s somewhere in Amazon’s future game plan to dominate the world. After all, the total value of all digital currencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple blockchain networks have already reached a mind-numbing $160 billion. That’s certainly a market Amazon might be interested in.