Amazon may soon become the latest Fortune 500 company to venture into NFTs. As reported today by Blockworks, the e-commerce giant is planning to launch a “digital assets enterprise” — an NFT initiative, in other words — this spring. According to one anonymous source the publication spoke with, the company’s focus will center on blockchain-based gaming that rewards players with NFTs.
According to the report, the platform will allegedly be run out of Amazon itself vs. Amazon Web Services (AWS), but it still isn’t clear who is leading the charge in terms of personnel.
This news comes on the heels of AWS’ recent partnership with Ava Labs, the company behind the Avalanche blockchain. In a press release issued at the time, the teams noted that Ava Labs plans to add Subnet deployment as a managed service to the AWS Marketplace, enabling individuals to launch custom Subnets with just a few clicks. “It has been a huge boon for both individual and enterprise developers to be able to spin up nodes and test networks on the fly with AWS in whatever legal jurisdiction makes the most sense for them,” Emin Gün Sirer, Founder and CEO of Ava Labs, said in a statement.
To this end, this most recent NFT news is just Amazon’s latest step into the world of Web3 — a step that many saw coming.
In a Squawkbox interview on CNBC in April of 2022, Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon, stated that he believed that the company would sell NFTs one day. “I expect that NFTs will continue to grow very significantly. We’re not probably close to adding crypto as a payment mechanism in our retail business, but I do believe over time that you’ll see crypto become bigger,” he said at the time. When asked whether he could see Amazon selling NFTs, Jessy replied, “Yeah, I think it’s down the road.”
This latest plan seems likely to be a new evolution of previously rumored efforts for Amazon to collaborate with established Web3-native artists. Previously, Amazon had become involved in the NFT space through a series called NFTMe, which explores NFT culture and disruption worldwide.
While little is known about Amazon’s forthcoming foray into NFTs apart from what anonymous sources relayed to Blockworks, the company will likely share more information with the public over the coming months, as April seems to be the tentative release date for these current endeavors, according to the report.
This story was developing and was updated.