bitcoin21Overstock.com has made a big fuss about accepting the digital currency to the point where you’d expect other major online retailers to follow suit, but Amazon says it won’t be one of them.

In an interview with Re/code’s Jason del Rey, Amazon payments head Tom Taylor said they’ve considered accepting bitcoin, but there’s no rush. “We’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them and don’t have any plans within Amazon to engage bitcoin,” Taylor said.

If Amazon was interested, and bitcoins suddenly became accepted on one of the largest online stores in the world, the currency would become more usable and liquid. But since Amazon doesn’t have any plans to adopt the popular — yet hackable — currency, it might be a setback until other tools become more commonplace.

Overstock.com, the Salt Lake City-based online retailer, said in March that it took just over two months to sell more than $1 million in products to Bitcoin owners. Further, it said the purchases were made by 4,300 customers of which 60 percent are estimated to be new to the site.

But Amazon, which has been rolling out its own Amazon Coins virtual currency, clearly doesn’t need incentive for new shoppers to discover its services.

At one point, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said that Amazon will have no choice but to start accepting Bitcoin — now that Overstock had already started offering it.

“Yes, I actually think that this forces the hand of Amazon and some other big players. They have to follow suit. You will see them follow suit, I’ll be stunned if you don’t, because they can’t just cede that part of the market to us, if we’re the only main, large retail site taking Bitcoin,” he said. “Either they have to start taking it, or they’re just giving away a piece of the market.”

Well, that’s not how Amazon feels.

Instead, Amazon says it sees an even bigger opportunity to provide a better payment system. In a separate Re/Code story, Taylor admitted that Amazon’s chief Jeff Bezos has identified payments as one of the top areas of focus for investment.

He summed up the pressure he feels from Jeff by saying: “Go faster.”

Comments

  • http://timandjeni.com/ Timothy Ellis

    Overstock accepts Bitcoin for one reason and one reason only: Their CEO is a bitcoin fanatic.

    Here’s the first line of a great Wired article about him:

    Patrick Byrne says the zombie apocalypse is coming, and there’s one thing that can save us: bitcoin.

    • Enuma Elish

      Any person that takes their time to understand the bitcoin protocol can´t help themselves but to became a bitcoin fanatic.Its like the internet at its birth. Remenber this is no relegion this is a technology.
      Why the f*** would people love a technology that is broken?

      • guest

        Statements like “Any person that takes their time to understand the bitcoin protocol…” is exactly why bitcoin will never become mainstream. 99% of people won’t ever understand that. Using “traditional” money doesn’t require understanding technologies or becoming fanatic.

        • hawks5999

          that’s why the internet never took off. A shame, really. There was so much potential there.

  • Enuma Elish

    Sometimes when a company is in the brink of launching a proposal for some specic sector of their business after years of development, change is VERY DIFFICULT. Think about all the stakeholders interest. Their knew payment system proposal dint came from thin air.

  • John

    “But since Amazon doesn’t have any plans to adopt the popular — yet
    hackable — currency, it might be a setback until other tools become more
    commonplace.”

    How is Bitcoin hackable?

  • Karl J. Weaver

    No open OS (open to download apps) can be protected from Hackers, only the SIM card is tamper resistant when storing a user’s payment credentials in the Secure Domain of the Secure Element in USIM cards on Smartphones/Tablets. There is a second somewhat tamper resistant solution called the TEE (part of Trusted Computing Group) but not as good as the USIM card. Hackers can jailbreak or route devices, so uploading to the Cloud isn’t 100% secure because Malware is embedded into the legitimate applications as code and hides as a trojan undetected, until it’s ready to steal important payment pin codes, etc. You can expect Amazon to first consider Bar Code adoption perhaps but long term to NFC ( Near Field Communications) for proximity payments. NFC is a proven technology all around Seattle without people opening their eyes to it’s importance for lifestyle applications. Think about it Orca card for all Sound transit transportation methods , in the local Hotel industry to open guest doors, (called “Access Control”), and even in Microsoft to open office doors and employee badge identification, the list goes on. Bitcoin is a Crypto-Currency but software only can be tampered with on open OS mobile devices. By combining Software with hardware including use of cryptographics keys, that would be the best mobile device security solution for storing user’s payment credentials. Bitcoin isn’t dead but with Governments all around the World saying we don’t need it, we can’t secure it, we don’t know how to tax it, well, you can see discussion at this point. I think in the future, anything is possible for alternative payment currencies, but it’s not looking too positive for growth at the moment.

    • splityouratoms

      You just convinced me you’re a bot for SEO; that’s an awful lot of tech-words that mean absolutely nothing.

  • check the facts

    “-yet hackable-” really? are you thinking of mt. gox cause that wasn’t technical hacking it was simply taking advantage of a security flaw. And if you are thinking of Mt. Gox then you should also know that it wasn’t a flaw with bitcoin itself but the software that Mt. Gox was using to run their exchange.

  • BlackDyanmiteOnline

    Translation: Overstock.com saw and opportunity to jump on a growing market
    Amazon is trying to make their own fledgling coin, so they have a vested interest in NOT competing against themselves.

    Their bad timing for introducing a new internal payment system nowithstanding, it’s a matter of when, not if, Amazon accepts Bitcoin…..
    BD

  • AtoZ

    “Yet hackable”? Absolutely wrong, bitcoin has not been hacked, the *exchanges* using poor coding and security have been hacked. Regulating them will force them to comply as well. Please correct your statement as it is inaccurate

  • http://timandjeni.com/ Timothy Ellis

    It’s hilarious how the bitcoin believers descended on this article out of nowhere to defend their faith. I guess they’ve got nothing better to do while they sit around, waiting for the value of their horde to shoot to the moon.

    As if they were going to spend it on Amazon anyway. Good one.

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  • CryptoReporter.com

    How do you hack a bitcoin? No seriously? What a bunch of s h i t reporting.

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