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Could Amazon.com Shake Up the Cryptocurrency Market?

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Feb 27, 2018 at 4:41PM

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A new survey found that if Amazon created a cryptocurrency, millions of its customers would be open to using it.

Tuesday is shaping up to be a quiet day in the cryptocurrency markets -- at least in terms of prices. While most major cryptocurrencies haven't moved much, there's a major legal battle involving a man who claims to be bitcoin's (BTC-USD) creator.

Also, a new survey found that an Amazon.com-created cryptocurrency could potentially be the key to widespread adoption of virtual money.

Design of hexagons with block chain written in the center hexagon.

Image source: Getty Images.

Today's cryptocurrency prices

Here's a look at the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and how much each has changed over the past 24 hours.

Cryptocurrency Name (Code)

Price in U.S. Dollars

Day's Change

Bitcoin (BTC)

$10,701.00

4.5%

Ethereum (ETH)

$877.70

1.8%

Ripple (XRP)

$0.94

1.3%

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

$1,246.50

0.7%

Litecoin (LTC)

$215.84

(1.7%)

NEO (NEO)

$141.79

7.2%

Cardano (ADA)

$0.33

2%

Stellar (XLM)

$0.36

(1%)

EOS (EOS)

$8.58

6.3%

IOTA (MIOTA)

$2.02

9.8%

Data Source: www.investing.com. Prices and daily changes as of Feb. 27, 2018 at 3 p.m. EST, and prices are rounded to the nearest cent where appropriate.

Could "Amazon Coin" be a game-changer for the cryptocurrency market?

Acceptance of bitcoin (BTC-USD) (or any other cryptocurrency) by Amazon.com would certainly be a game-changer. "Amazon bitcoin" is searched for on the internet more than 18,000 times per month, according to kwfinder.com. Even if cryptocurrencies were used for just a small percentage of Amazon's sales, it could have a meaningful impact on their public perception.

However, what if instead of deciding to accept bitcoin (BTC-USD) or any existing cryptocurrency, Amazon decided to create its own? This would certainly be possible. Amazon's team has the technical expertise to develop such a venture, and the barriers to entry when it comes to creating a cryptocurrency are relatively low compared to some of the other industries Amazon has successfully disrupted.

Additionally, an Amazon-created cryptocurrency could be widely adopted. A recent LendEDU survey found that nearly 52% of Amazon customers would be open to the idea of using an Amazon-created cryptocurrency for purchases through the e-commerce giant. And of the company's Prime customers, the "yes" rate was more than 58%. Many other customers said that they were unsure, and just 22% said that they wouldn't be interested.

To be clear, Amazon has no plans to create "Amazon Coin" or any other cryptocurrency -- at least none that I'm aware of. However, there could be solid business reasons for doing so (such as streamlining checkout even further and reducing processing fees), and one of the biggest challenges facing existing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC-USD) -- widespread acceptance by merchants -- wouldn't be a concern.

Is Craig Wright the real Satoshi?

One of the big mysteries surrounding bitcoin (BTC-USD) is the question of who created it. The leading cryptocurrency's inventor uses the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, and there have been several rumored "Satoshis" since bitcoin (BTC-USD) began to gain traction.

Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, claimed to be the real Satoshi in 2016. And thanks to a $10 billion lawsuit against him, he may be asked to prove it in court.

Wright is being accused of stealing about $5 billion worth of bitcoin (BTC-USD) from his former business partner, Dave Kleiman, who passed away in 2013. Wright and Kleiman owned and controlled more than 1.1 million bitcoins (BTC-USD), mined during the cryptocurrency's early days.

It's pretty clear that Wright and Kleiman were involved with bitcoin (BTC-USD) from the beginning, as court filings say that the pair acquired a "vast" number of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013.

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