An online petition calling for Amazon to accept bitcoin and litecoin is nearing its goal on Change.org. At press time, there’s a total 1,343 signatures asking the company to act. Will it make any difference?
The two-week-old petition, started by user Chandra Jain, is addressed to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos directly. It calls bitcoin and litecoin “two of the most trusted cryptocurrencies in existence”. Amazon should accept them to “show continued leadership in innovation”, it adds.
“Acceptance and intelligent integration of these efficient and groundbreaking payment methods will lead to more streamlined commerce and an improvement in the purchasing experience for the many millions who shop Amazon. This logical expansion in the payment options for Amazon’s customers would help to proactively modernize the purchasing process and ultimately improve quality of life by bringing together the most efficient distribution systems with the most efficient and convenient payment systems available.”
The campaign promises to deliver the petition to Bezos if it reaches its goal of 1,500 signatures.
But Would Amazon Care?
However, even if it hits the goal, the likelihood of a corporate behemoth like Amazon being swayed by a 1,500-signature online petition is doubtful.
In January 2016, the Washington Post (which Bezos owns) published an op-ed titled “R.I.P. Bitcoin. It’s time to move on.” The post came days after developer Mike Hearn infamously “rage quit” the Bitcoin community, calling it a “failure”.
The WaPo article repeated all the cliched Bitcoin criticisms — it’s unregulated and anarchic, used by drug dealers, volatile price, some exchanges had poor security, etc. The article complains about Bitcoin’s slow transaction times and called for a replacement:
“It’s time to admit that the current Bitcoin needs to be scrapped and to take advantage of the innovations behind the technology that underlies Bitcoin, the blockchain.”
Bezos didn’t write the piece himself, though, and much has happened in Bitcoin since January 2016. At that time the industry was in the doldrums. The price had slumped after the mainstream media gloating over Hearn’s departure, and the price sat around $375 USD.
Many Calls for Amazon to Accept Bitcoin
Calls for Amazon and Jeff Bezos to accept bitcoin aren’t new, though this petition is probably the first to request litecoin too. This column from March 2014 said the retail giant could be the key to bitcoin going big time.
Bitcoin startup Purse.io promotes itself mainly with Amazon discounts for people who shop there (indirectly) with bitcoin.
Investopedia has also speculated on the issue. There are threads on Quora and Let’s Talk Bitcoin devoted to speculation on what Bezos thinks of Bitcoin. Both suggest Amazon (and Bezos) have too many connections to big finance and government to accept decentralized cryptocurrency.
Amazon may not pay attention to this petition. But campaigns like this keep the issue in the spotlight. At times when Bitcoin is getting a lot of attention, like now, they may even convince more people to ask in the future.
How would Amazon accepting BTC and LTC affect their prices? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons