Amazon Selling NFTs: How Will It Impact Marketplace?

jetcityimage / Getty Images
jetcityimage / Getty Images

Amazon is reportedly launching an NFT marketplace next month — a move widely lauded in the industry as it further cements the increasing adoption of the digital assets. The effort follows that of other mainstream companies dipping their toes in the space, including GameStop and Reddit.

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According to Blockworks, Amazon customers will be able to buy NFTs tied to real-world assets. The company will alert U.S. Amazon Prime customers of its digital collectibles plan once it goes live.

The marketplace — set to go live on April 24 — will start offering 15 NFT collections, which will be available on Amazon’s website and can be seen by clicking the “Amazon Digital Marketplace” tab, Coingape reported. Customers won’t need crypto wallets to buy NFTs on Amazon.

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Amazon ‘a Trusted Intermediary’

Amazon’s entry into NFTs is significant for two key reasons, said Christopher Alexander, chief communications officer for Liberty Blockchain.

“The first is brand related,” he said. “Amazon is well known and trusted by more than 200 million customers with Prime Memberships. Amazon can serve as a trusted intermediary for experiencing Web3 for the first time. Second, Amazon brings significant lobbying heft to a crypto industry fighting on multiple fronts on the Hill.”

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Other companies that have entered the space include GameStop and Reddit. GameStop launched an NFT marketplace with ImmutableX Pty Limited in October 2022. Reddit started its collection last July and has onboarded nearly 6.9 million people to Web3 since, according to a Hype Partners tweet.

CJ Reim, a contributor at Core DAO, explained that Amazon’s news underscores how there’s still momentum for more non-crypto technology firms to experiment with NFTs and crypto more broadly.

“It’s important to note that this sort of experimentation will help to familiarize the large customer bases of these companies with Web3 technology.” Reim said. “But, again, we’re still in the early stages here and it will take time for more companies and brands to incorporate digital assets into their existing technology stack.”

A Look at the NFT Market

The NFT space has taken a beating — just like the crypto space at large — since the collapse of TerraUSD/Luna in May 2022, the ensuing platform busts and the infamous FTX debacle.

Yet, it seems to be rebounding. DappRadar noted in its February industry report: NFT trading volume spiked to $2 billion for the first time since last May, up 117% from the previous month, largely driven by Blur — the zero-fee marketplace launched last October.

Now, whether Amazon will compete with “pure” NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea remains to be seen, but experts agree there is room for competition in a space that is fairly nascent.

Indeed, trading of NFTs on the major marketplaces continues apace, even if floor prices are down when compared to the bull run days, said Anthony Georgiades, co-founder of Pastel Network.

“But, knowing Amazon, what they have in store for their reported marketplace will likely differ markedly from, say, what OpenSea has on offer,” he added. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon tries to incorporate NFT tech into their current business operations, perhaps tying them to the sale of physical goods. It’s still too early to tell exactly what is planned, but it is indeed exciting to see a Web2 giant dip its toes into the crypto world.”

Another factor that might be in Amazon’s favor is the retail giant’s distribution network, some experts say.

While it is still too early to tell whether Amazon’s NFT marketplace aims to compete with OpenSea, they could well co-exist, said Mo Shaikh, co-founder and CEO of Aptos Labs.

“But with the distribution power that Amazon has,” Shaikh said, “we can expect to see real utility, something other marketplaces and other infrastructure can’t handle.”

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This article originally appeared on Amazon Selling NFTs: How Will It Impact Marketplace?