It was a week of wows, with rumours abound that the world’s biggest retailer could integrate Bitcoin payments and a social media giant announcing the cryptocurrency’s pivotal role in its future. Meanwhile, Jackson, Tennessee, is looking to become the industry’s main hub, and could Tesla be about to pull a U-turn on its bitcoin policy? It was all happening last week; here’s our rundown of the biggest stories.
Amazon rumours drive crypto community wild
An insider familiar with the matter has reportedly leaked Amazon’s plans to accept bitcoin as payment “by the end of the year.”
An undisclosed source told national UK newspaper City AM that a job advertisement posted by the internet giant for a cryptocurrency and blockchain lead role goes far deeper than “just going through the motions to set up cryptocurrency payment solutions at some point in the future.”
The source explained that “this is a full-on, well-discussed, integral part of the future mechanism of how Amazon will work. It begins with Bitcoin – this is the key first stage of this crypto project, and the directive is coming from the very top… Jeff Bezos himself.”
The source also suggested that coins such as Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash will be next in line, before they bring about eight more of the most popular cryptocurrencies online.
[Updated 27/07/2021] In the time since, Amazon issued a denial-of-sorts to reports that it’s planning on launching its own cryptocurrency and could start accepting bitcoin for payment as early as this year. The retail giant reiterated its interest in the space and its commitment to exploring how customers could benefit, though said the specific details of the insider’s comments were not true. Which specific details? Was Amazon just testing public reaction?
Tweet this: Jack Dorsey says bitcoin will be a big part of Twitter’s future
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed to investors in the social media giant’s second-quarter earnings call that bitcoin will be a “big part” of the company’s future. He added that he hopes to integrate the digital currency into existing Twitter products and services, which include commerce and subscriptions.
Dorsey has been an evangelist for bitcoin for several years, and now plans to blend his passion with business. Although an exact plan is yet to be fully mapped out, the 44-year-old did share some context over new product offerings:
“If the internet has a native currency—a global currency—we are able to able to move so much faster with products such as Super Follows, Commerce, Subscriptions, Tip Jar, and we can reach every single person on the planet because of that instead of going down a market-by-market-by-market approach.
“There’s an obvious need for this, and appreciation for it. And I think that an open standard that’s native to the internet is the right way to go, which is why my focus and our focus eventually will be on bitcoin.”
Are we seeing the beginnings of a decentralised social media?
Tesla likely to start accepting bitcoin again
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said bitcoin is looking more environmentally friendly and Tesla could soon accept bitcoin once again.
Earlier in May, Musk said his electric vehicle company would no longer be accepting payments made in bitcoin due to climate concerns. At The B-Word conference, an event hosted by the Crypto Council for Innovation, Musk acknowledged that things had changed since he made the decision:
“It looks like bitcoin is shifting a lot more toward renewables. I want to do a little more due diligence to confirm that the percentage of renewable energy usage is most likely at or above 50% and that there is a trend toward increasing that number. If so, Tesla will most likely resume accepting bitcoin.”
Musk also used the conference to share details on his own crypto habits, stating that he personally owned bitcoin, Ethereum, and dogecoin.
"I might pump, but I don't dump," Musk said. "I definitely do not believe in getting the price high and selling ... I would like to see bitcoin succeed."
Any bets on what Musk’s next tweet will be?
Rothschild bullish on Bitcoin
Rothschild Investments Corp last week revealed that it’s increased its exposure to Bitcoin by roughly 300%.
The numbers were brought to light through Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The SEC’s report shows the investments firm upped its tally of 38,356 shares in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, to 141,405. In bitcoin terms, this number of shares equates to 132.8 BTC ($3.94 million).
Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein explained that institutional players are looking past short-term price moves and are instead “looking at their allocations in the medium to long term, and so any volatility or dampening of volatility is not something anyone is fazed by.”
Jackson, Tennessee Mayor aims to create BTC hub
Jackson, Tennessee’s mayor Scott Conger, has touted Bitcoin’s benefits as a hedge against inflation and said he aims to transform the city into a BTC hub.
In the wake of huge stimulus created by America's federal government and central bank, Conger has noticed inflation is creeping higher and believes Bitcoin is the only answer to it.
“Why do we accept inflation?” Conger asked. “Why don’t we demand more from our federal government 6.3% in 2 years? 172.8% in my lifetime. Every year our dollar is worth less. There is no rebound. There is only 1 fix for this… Bitcoin.”
Conger has also initiated a task force dedicated to studying blockchain benefits and how BTC payments can help boost Jackson.
“Our blockchain task force is looking into how the city of Jackson TN can accept property tax payments in bitcoin and allow our employees to DCA in bitcoin,” tweeted Conger.
— Mayor Scott Conger (@MayorConger) July 16, 2021
Conger joins a group of mayors and mayoral candidates including Francis Suarez (Miami) and Eric Adams (New York), who are looking to harness the power of crypto and use it in their communities.
Mastercard shows commitment to crypto
In an effort to make buying goods with crypto easier, Mastercard has announced that it will use the USDC stablecoin as a bridge asset for cardholders.
The payments giant recently revealed it’s working on a pilot with a fintech firm Circle, to enable banks and crypto companies to offer a card option that will allow people to spend their digital currencies anywhere where Mastercard is accepted.
Although their involvement is still unclear, it is also reported that Evolve Bank & Trust and Paxos Trust are also playing a role in the pilot.