A rumour has swept the internet in recent days suggesting that Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, will soon start accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment. This would be a massive step forward for the cryptocurrency and massively increase awareness of Bitcoin among the general population.
Who is accepting Bitcoin
To date, a number of companies have begun accepting Bitcoin as means of payment. However, this has often been more of a PR stunt than a genuine attempt to attract customers who actually use Bitcoin. Amazon moving to accept Bitcoin would be on a different scale. Simply seeing the option on the Amazon payment page would introduce the concept of cryptocurrencies to a whole new audience. It may also start to move Bitcoin away from being an investment like gold that is held only by investors, towards being a genuine currency that people use to make everyday purchases.
The impact of the rumour
Even though the Amazon Bitcoin story is only a rumour, it was enough to push the price of Bitcoin higher when it first broke. The supply of Bitcoin is intentionally limited and it is believed that it moving into the mainstream would lead to a significant spike in demand for the limited number of Bitcoins that are available. This isn't the first time that it's been suggested that Amazon will choose to accept Bitcoin in the future and, while the company is yet to make any statement on the issue, these stories are beginning to pop up with increasing regularity.
What will happen next?
It seems likely that a major online retailer will start to accept Bitcoin soon. The momentum behind the cryptocurrency means that it is increasingly difficult for them to ignore. Whether that will be Amazon or another, more specialist retailer remains to be seen, however.